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TOLAR ISD TO OFFER FREE RAPID COVID-19 TESTS FOR USE IN SCHOOLS, STARTING NOV. 16TH

In the Tolar ISD, we are committed to doing all we can to keep staff and students healthy and safe.  With this goal in mind, we are pleased to share that we will be taking part in a statewide program offering free rapid COVID-19 tests for use in schools beginning on Mon., Nov. 16.  This program will allow the Tolar ISD to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals- including students and staff- and to reduce the risk to our community.  This email offers further information on the tests and the testing program.

What COVID-19 tests are used in this program? 

This program uses BinaxNOW tests, which provide results in 15 minutes and are administered using a nasal swab in the front of the nostril.  These tests have been shown to he highly accurate, with accuracy rates of 97-98% for symptomatic individuals. 

Who will be tested and when?

The Tolar ISD will test any individual (students/staff member) who is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 if permission is granted by the parent/guardian of students under the age of 18 or from the individual if over 18 years of age.

How will the information from the tests be used?

If a student displays COVID symptoms, parents will be contacted to obtain permission to administer the BinaxNOW test.  Then, the test administrator will share the results with the parent/guardian in a timely manner once they are available.

The results will also be shared with the school/district and with the local health authority to allow for public health reporting and contact tracing and to determine the stay-at-home period for individuals who test positive.  Additionally, the total number of positive tests per school will be shared with the Texas Department of State Health Services as required by law.  

What happens next? 

Tests are available to all students/staff who are showing symptoms of COVID-19.  To participate, parents must complete a permission form that will be provided by the school nurse.  

If your child is experiencing symptoms and you would like for him/her to be tested, please do NOT send them to campus.  Instead, please call Karen Clark at (254)835-4028 to arrange for a test.

We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate through these challenging times.  We are beginning to see the impact of COVID-19 on districts across the state as many campuses are having to close for in-person learning.  We are hopeful that by remaining diligent in our mitigation efforts, we can continue to provide high-quality in-person instruction to our students.  Your support in this effort is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Travis Stilwell

Superintendent, Tolar ISD

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