Speedy results make a big difference when it comes to COVID-19 testing. Lake County Schools announced today that the district has created public and private partnerships to make rapid testing available to all district employees and students prior to the first day of school on August 24.
For rapid testing, a simple finger-prick will yield results in 10 minutes. Anyone whose results show an active infection will receive a second test for confirmation.The procedure will also test for antibodies, indicating that a person has been infected with the virus at some point in the past. People with confirmed positive test results would be required to quarantine for three days and then be tested again. Once they test negative, they can come to school or work without restrictions.
The process will work similarly throughout the school year when roving nurses will be available to test symptomatic students and employees. This will allow the district to more quickly and accurately identify students and staff who need to be quarantined instead of shutting down entire classes or other large groups because of the possibility of exposure.
Lake County Schools partnered with Adult Medicine of Lake County, the Department of Health in Lake County, and Lake County government to make the rapid testing possible. “The hope is that parents will not hide their children’s symptoms with fever-reducing medicines and then send them to school, where they could potentially infect others. Instead, they can let their school nurse know about the symptoms, get tested, and get answers right away,” said Matt Cady of Adult Medicine of Lake County.
“Many of our parents work outside the home, and the idea of a blanket 10- to 14-day quarantine could sideline them financially,” School Board member Bill Mathias said. “With rapid testing, that quarantine period can be drastically reduced for those who are not infected. Students can get back to thriving in their classrooms and parents can get back to work much more quickly.”
District leaders are also pursuing funding partnerships for other safety measures in classrooms, including acrylic partitions for tables and desks and a protective coating that could prevent viruses and bacteria from adhering to and growing on flat surfaces.
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