WINDSOR, ONT. -- Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in local schools is expected to begin mid-March, about a month behind the provincial schedule.

The Ministry of Education had called for voluntary asymptomatic testing to start in schools the week of Feb. 22, however, testing at local schools won’t roll-out until at least March 19.

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board says the health unit is currently working with all four local school boards to coordinate testing plans.

“I think it's important that we take our time to develop a plan that's coordinated between all four school boards as well as our local public health unit,” said WECDSB COVID-lead and superintendent Melissa Farrand. “We want to make sure our parents are well informed of what to expect. we hope parents take this opportunity to have some asymptomatic testing conducted for their children.”

GVT Labs is the third-party vendor that will be conducting the tests. Registration will also be done online through the company.

Where the testing will be located is still to be determined.

The Catholic board says the plan is to identify particular neighbourhoods where all students from that community can get tested regardless of which school board they attend.

The voluntary testing will take place on a weekly basis on an alternating schedule.

The Ministry of Education says boards must test students and staff in at least five per cent of its schools each week.