As of today, the Austin Independent School District has launched a new rapid COVID-19 testing program which will be accessible to students, teachers, and staff members. Enough testing will be available to cover the entire district at no charge to those who choose to take advantage of the program.
“The quicker we do know someone is positive or negative, if someone has those symptoms and now we know they’re negative, that lowers anxiety,” said Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde. “If they’re positive, we’re able to send them home quickly instead of, yes, we send them home but we’re all still waiting for those test results.”
The rapid testing program will be rolled out in three phases. Phase 1 will focus on people who have been working on-campus and have begun to show symptoms of the virus while on-site. Phase 2 will expand the testing with a focus on those who may be asymptomatic. Phase 3 will create a monthly rotation of testing for teachers and staff.
Any student wanting to be tested must get permission from parents if he or she is under the age of 18.