Carthage ISD will add a free voluntary K-12 COVID-19 testing program next week for students and employees who have COVID-19 symptoms or close contact with somebody who’s tested positive for COVID-19.

The Texas Education Agency and the Texas Department of Health authorized the program for use in a school setting. Only trained medical professionals will be administering the tests, and the free testing is only available to students and staff of Carthage ISD.

The district will only be testing children under 18 with parental consent, and any student under 18 must have a parent or guardian present while the test is being done. Students over the age of 18 do not need parental consent.

The district is using the free BinaxNOW rapid test that the federal government is providing to schools. The test involves using a swap placed inside the tip of the nose to collect a specimen for testing. Trained CISD campus nurses will be administering the test or supervising self-collection of the specimen.

Students who test positive for the virus will be moved to a room away from other students and staff until a parent/guardian can pick them up, while staff will be sent home to quarantine. The district asks all people testing positive stay home until the infection period has ended. Those who test negative may continue to attend school or be sent home following normal illness protocols.

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