Humble ISD expands free COVID-19 testing options to provide easier access for students

Humble ISD officials said more than 60 students utilized the new PCR COVID-19 testing option on the first two days it was available. (Courtesy Humble ISD)
Humble ISD officials said more than 60 students utilized the new PCR COVID-19 testing option on the first two days it was available. (Courtesy Humble ISD)

Humble ISD officials said more than 60 students utilized the new PCR COVID-19 testing option on the first two days it was available. (Courtesy Humble ISD)

As of January, Humble ISD students have access to an additional option for free COVID-19 testing. HISD is offering the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests through its partnership with 24 Hour Covid, a clinical laboratory.

The PCR test, which is a molecular test, detects the virus's genetic material through a nasal swab or saliva, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Rapid antigen testing is also a molecular test taken by a nasal swab that detects specific proteins from the virus, according to the FDA.

The PCR test has been available to district employees since August, and rapid antigen testing has been available to students and employees since Nov. 4, HISD Chief Communications Officer Jamie Mount said via email.

However, Mount said Jan. 4 marked the first day eligible students could also access the district's PRC testing for free. Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or those who were exposed to someone with a COVID-19 diagnosis are eligible for free testing, according to the district.

Mount said the district chose to form a partnership with 24 Hour Covid because district officials wanted to provide a convenient option for PCR tests. She said no appointments are required and that results are expedited.


"This program takes uncertainty out of the process for parents," she said. "This is the most accurate test with a same day result in most cases."

In the first two days the PCR testing sites opened, 61 HISD students were tested at the district's two partnership locations, Mount said. The sites are open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m at 24 Hour Covid RT-PCR Laboratory locations at 22751 Professional Drive, Kingwood, and 18321 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Atascocita.

Roughly 2,600 students and staff have taken the rapid antigen test since November, and more than 1,500 employees have utilized PCR testing since August, Mount said.

Most PRC results will be delivered within 24 hours, Mount said. For students with health insurance, the test cost is free and processed through their insurance; the test cost will be processed through federal assistance programs for students without health insurance, according to the district.

For more information, visit the HISD website.

Correction: The original story incorrectly spelled PCR tests on several occasions. The story has been updated.
By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.



MOST RECENT

Home sales increased in five out of seven Lake Houston-area ZIP codes. (Community Impact staff)
See how the Lake Houston-area real estate market fared in December 2020

Home sales increased in five out of seven Lake Houston-area ZIP codes in December 2020 compared to December 2019.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the opening of a COVID-19 vaccine waitlist at a Jan. 25 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook)
Harris County to open waitlist for COVID-19 vaccines Jan. 26

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warned that vaccine supply remains "extremely limited," and it will still take time for those waitlisted to get an appointment.

Montgomery County's two COVID-19 vaccine hubs received allocations of around 2,000 doses each this week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County's 2nd vaccine hub set in The Woodlands; Conroe hub, public health district to get more doses

The Woodlands hospital hub now offers vaccines on an invitation-only basis, and those interested in future vaccination may join the hospital's waitlist.

Preregistration does not guarantee an appointment. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATED: Montgomery County COVID-19 vaccination preregistration full in 30 minutes; Conroe hub plans Jan. 25 registration

The Montgomery County Public Health District's initial preregistration for COVID-19 vaccinations filled in less than 30 minutes after the program's launch Jan. 25.

Less than 7,000 COVID-19 cases remained active in Montgomery County as of Jan. 22. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County's active COVID-19 case count falls below 7K, 7 new deaths reported Jan. 20-22

Active cases in the county fell by several hundred this week, while COVID-19 hospitalizations among residents reached a new high.

DECA Beer Co. plans to open its family-friendly taproom in February. (Courtesy DECA Beer Co.)
Porter brewery DECA Beer Co. aims for early February opening

Some brew styles on tap will include stouts, Indian pale ales, berliner weisses and brown ales.

DDS Dentures   Implant Solutions in Humble rebranded in early January to Affordable Dentures & Implants. (Courtesy Affordable Care)
DDS Dentures + Implant Solutions in Humble rebrands to Affordable Dentures & Implants

The Humble location is one of six other Texas locations that were rebranded Jan. 1.

“Hope is on the horizon,” Fort Bend County Judge KP George said at a press conference Jan. 4. “The vaccine is here.”
Vaccine distribution starts in Fort Bend County and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Houston area.

One local health system leader said he expects everyone, including those under age 65, will have access to the vaccine within the next 90 days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-area health system leaders talk progress, hurdles during COVID-19

Officials from CHI St. Luke’s Health and UTMB Health said community members must remain vigilant as case counts climb but that they expect the current surge to peak by early February.

Humble ISD has 439 active COVID-19 cases while New Caney ISD has 87 active cases as of Jan. 21. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New Caney, Humble ISDs see leveling out of active COVID-19 cases

New Caney and Porter High Schools continue to have the highest cases per campus in New Caney ISD.

During a North Houston Association meeting Jan. 20, Jazz Hamilton—first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services Group for CBRE—discussed how the future of retail will likely be shaped by the conveniences to which consumers have become accustomed amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pandemic-induced retail conveniences are here to stay, official says

According to Jazz Hamilton, first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services group for CBRE, between January and November of 2020, consumers spent almost $550 billion online—a 33% increase from 2019.