South Texas city to be part of COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot program, Abbott announces

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Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, science teacher Ann Darby, left, uses a thermometer on sixth-grader Anthony Gonzales to check his temperature before he entered a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Wylie, Texas. Schools and educators across the U.S. have landed in the middle of an increasingly politicized debate over how best to reopen schools this fall. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

AUSTIN, Texas (KVEO) — Governor Greg Abbott announced several school districts across the state will be part of a new pilot program to test students and teachers for COVID-19.

In a release, Gov. Abbott, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) announced the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for Texas school systems will be a way to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

“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,” said Governor Abbott in the release.

The participating school system include Harlingen CISD, Bob Hope School, Fabens ISD, Grace Community School, Granger ISD, Lampasas ISD, Longview ISD and Ysleta ISD.

The TDEM will provide participating campuses with COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, which will be used for students, teachers and staff that choose to take the test. The release states the schools will also receive personal protective equipment (PPE) to administer the tests.

COVID-19 rapid antigen tests provide results within 15 minutes, said the release.

The pilot program will begin with the eight districts listed. The governor’s office says it will then expand the program across the state.

Texas public and private schools interested in applying for the testing program will be able to apply through the Texas Education Agency no later than Wednesday, October 28.

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