In-school lead screenings to begin soon at affected Shelby County Schools

Local Health Alert

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( – UPDATE: Shelby County School leaders says in-school lead screenings will NOT begin Tuesday as previously announced.

A special-called board meeting will happen Tuesday night to approve items with the health department. Testing will begin after that is done.


Tuesday is a big day for Shelby County Schools as they prepare to start in-school lead screenings. 

Weeks ago, high levels of lead were found in water sources at dozens of SCS schools. Around 19,000 students are eligible for the on-site testing.

So what is the process students have to go through during testing?

  1. Students must have a signed consent form from a parent or guardian to preform lead testing.
  2. The parent or guardian must complete a risk questionnaire.
  3. The performance step – the blood screening test. The blood collected will be sent off to a lab to be tested.

“This process simply involves a finger prick, a stick. It’s not, the child does not receive a shot. Blood is not drawn from the vein, but simply from the tip of the fingers,” said Dr. Bruce Randolph with the Shelby County Health Department.

The sample is taken to the lab and should return within 7 to 10 business days. Results will be mailed directly to the parent.

If more testing is needed, the health department will proceed with a step four and drawn blood from the child’s vein for testing.  

Learn more HERE.

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