The district, which does not currently offer tests, is expected to get them within the next few weeks, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Brenda Payne said. Tests will be distributed to schools based on size, Payne added.
The tests, which are performed using shallow nasal swabs, provide results within 15 minutes, Payne said. The TEA will also provide the necessary personal protective equipment for staff administering the tests.
“This is a very simple process,” Payne said. “I will say that I actually have been certified to perform the test on myself or others ... That is how simple it is.”
The tests have a 97.1% true positive rate and 98.5% true negative rate, Payne said. In other words, a negative result does not ensure absence of the virus, Payne added.
The tests will be of no cost to the district; however, RISD officials will be required to report the results to the agency, Payne said. Taking the test will be entirely voluntary, she added.
Staff is still considering who will be able to receive tests. The district will share more information when it is ready, Payne said.