Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) announced Wednesday the creation of a COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for Texas School Systems, with two local districts participating..
Both Fabens and Ysleta ISD’s announced their inclusion in the pilot program Wednesday afternoon.
“As more students return to campus for in-person instruction, the State of Texas is working alongside school officials to provide resources to mitigate the spread of COVID- 19 among students and staff,” Gov. Abbott said. “Thank you to the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services for providing these advanced antigen tests to the State of Texas.”
According to officials, this program will help schools conduct rapid tests of district employees and students — to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campuses.
Through this pilot program, TDEM will provide participating school systems with COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. Schools enrolled in the program will also receive personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely administer the rapid tests, which produce reliable results within 15 minutes.
Both districts will receive BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card tests, which is an antigen test, designed to detect proteins from the virus
that causes COVID-19.
Officials say that positive results from these rapid tests are “highly accurate and can help limit the spread of COVID-19 among families and the larger school community.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, states and territories will receive approximately 100 million of the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card tests through December, distributed in proportion to their population. Governors will determine the best use of tests for their states, including the reopening of K-12 schools through testing of teachers, staff, and students, among others.
“This rapid testing pilot program will be an effective strategy to protect the health and safety of students and staff while helping to further ensure that Texas students have access to a quality education throughout the pandemic and beyond,” Gov. Abbott added.
In addition to Fabens ISD and Ysleta ISD, the following 6 school districts will participate as well:
Bob Hope School (Port Arthur)
Grace Community School (Tyler)
Harlingen Consolidated ISD
For more on Gov. Abbott’s Rapid Testing Pilot Program, call (512) 463-2000.