The tests are administered by nasal swab at the GCISD Mustang Panther Stadium from 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. weekdays with results available within 15 minutes, according to a GCISD statement.
Testing began Jan. 25. As of Feb. 5, the stadium site had tested 283 people, GCISD Director of Communications Addison Elliott said.
These tests, which are funded by the TEA, are BinaxNOW antigen tests manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. According to TEA documents, participation in the testing program is optional for school districts, and districts can participate only if they are providing the option of on-campus classes for all students. Initial piloting of the program began in October.
Because tests are limited, GCISD said in the statement that the stadium site will be open only to GCISD staff and their children who are GCISD students, and they will be tested only if they are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Appointments are required after 8:30 a.m. and can be made by emailing [email protected] with symptoms, the date symptoms started and a cell phone number to contact.
According to TEA and GCISD documents, the goal of conducting tests on campus is to provide a way for districts to quickly identify those who have been infected with COVID-19 and remove them from campus before the virus can spread. Positive results are shared with the GCISD employee’s supervisor and health officials for contact tracing purposes.
“This program will allow symptomatic staff members, and their children who are GCISD students, to be tested and reduce the risk to our campuses,” the district said in the statement.