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Caldwell ISD joins state COVID-19 testing program

The program supplies districts with free testing for students and staff.
Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 5:51 PM CST
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CALDWELL, Texas (KBTX) -More than 300 school districts across the state will take advantage of the state’s free COVID-19 testing program.

Caldwell ISD is the first district in the Brazos Valley that will kick off the program in the next few weeks.

“We have a lot of students that don’t have insurance," said Tracy Ayers District Nurse of Caldwell ISD. "They don’t have an opportunity to go to a health care facility to get tested, not just for COVID but for other illnesses too, we see it every year.”

Since August around 50 students and staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

Superintendent Andrew Peters says less than 10 percent of students are learning at home now.

“Our campuses are getting a little more crowded," said Peters. "A little more like normal and with more people here it’s just more unknowns and so it’s going to be a good tool for us to help identify the sicknesses we have.”

The district will be responsible for distributing the tests.

“It’s a shallow nasal swab, meaning we’re just going to swab the very front of the nares. It comes with a developer in the kit so we’ll run the test here. It takes about 15 minutes and we have results,” said Ayers.

Peters says he and Ayers will go through special training and have a list of guidelines to follow.

“We have to identify a place where we can safely store these kits. They have to stay at a certain temperature, stay locked up obviously. They can only be used on employees or students,” said Peters.

Peters says the purpose of the program is to provide another option for students and staff and by no means a requirement.

“It’s a free program, it’s an optional program so those that need the assistance or need to get tested or their parents want them to get tested they can do it right here at school,” said Peters.

Peters says the kits will be distributed to the district within the next two weeks.

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