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St. John-Hudson offers COVID-19 school testing pilot project
A student prepares to receive a drive-through test.

ST. JOHN — St. John-Hudson USD 350 is participating in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s COVID-19 School Testing Pilot Project. The project is using a rapid test, Binax NOW. It’s 97% effective in symptomatic clients, said USD 350 nurse Lisa Cornwell, RN.

Cornwell completed approximately 10 on the non-invasive tests in the first week of the project.

She said the lower nostril is swabbed with a swab for 5 seconds on each side. The swab is then tested in the school’s COVID room. It takes 15 minutes to get results.

A CLIA certificate of waiver had to be approved to do lab tests in a school. The school nurse was required to go through an online training program for the rapid test and PCR test.

If a person is under quarantine due to exposure testing negative during their quarantine does not end their quarantine early. Current science indicates the incubation period for the amount of time between when the person is exposed and when they develop the disease may be as long as 14 days. Therefore, a negative test during the quarantine period may just mean that the person has not developed enough virus in their system (viral load) to be detected by the test.

Permission by parents is required to participate in the pilot program. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID 19 with the Binax NOW rapid test, a PCR antigen test must be performed within 48 hours for confirmation during the pilot project.

The testing is free for students and staff.