As Schools and Universities Reopen, Covid-19 Testing Strategies Need To Be Adopted

COVID-19 Testing for Schools: Here’s Why It Matters

Communities across the U.S. are working to safely reopen their schools—but how? 

Onsite rapid COVID-19 testing may be the solution administrators have been waiting for. 

Testing Can Prevent School-Related Outbreaks 

Identifying COVID-19 in children can be difficult. Studies reveal that most kids are asymptomatic to the virus, or they only experience mild symptoms. 

This makes traditional screening methods like temperature checks challenging. A child can be contagious without presenting any symptoms at all. Yet the novel coronavirus is highly-contagious, and most children have yet to meet the criteria for vaccination.

For this reason, schools must remain diligent. It is estimated that anywhere from 30% to 60% of all COVID-19 cases are transmitted by those carrying the virus symptom-free, leading to serious outbreaks that can take weeks or longer to even identify.

These types of outbreaks can disrupt learning, cause undue stress, and keep schools from reopening safely. And while more and more Americans have been vaccinated, communities aren’t out of the woods yet.

So what’s the answer? While mask requirements, social distancing, and hybrid or remote learning are helping in the short-term, administrators—as more and more schools reopen—are searching for a permanent response. This is where onsite rapid COVID-19 testing may come in.

Rapid COVID-19 Testing: Protect Schools and Communities

By conducting rapid testing on campus, school administrators can prevent COVID-19 outbreaks quickly—before they spread throughout the building and into the broader community. 

Here’s the thing: After close to a year of remote instruction, school districts have begun to reopen for in-person learning. They are still, however, under a great deal of pressure to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19. Most students under the age of 18 are unlikely to be fully vaccinated until late 2021 at the earliest, and testing can help mitigate risks in the interim.

How so? In a national survey conducted by the EdWeek Research Center, 32% of school district leaders were testing staff members for the virus in late February 2021—a 15% increase from October 2020. Meanwhile, 16% of administrators revealed they were testing students, up from just 7% last fall.

While contact tracing and ventilation upgrades are just as viable, rapid testing is an ideal solution for schools that have returned to in-person learning. 


Will U.S. Schools Receive Funding for Rapid COVID-19 Testing? 

Some good news: COVID-19 relief money will be available for schools that choose to implement onsite testing programs. Signed on March 11, the American Rescue Plan could be used for a range of pandemic recovery initiatives—including short- or long-term testing.  

That’s not all. Federal funding from the 2020 CARES Act has already helped to support many school districts’ testing programs. Others have drawn from state funds, their own operating budgets, and donor support to move forward with COVID-19 testing. 

While it may take a bit of time for administrators, faculty, and parents to agree on an ideal testing strategy, funding is available to schools. 

How Can Schools Implement COVID-19 Testing Systems? 

Many schools are partnering with testing vendors to protect students, staff, and the general public. And with Peach Medical Sourcing, rapid COVID-19 testing is well within reach. 

Ultimately, schools can use the first point-of-care authorized rapid antibody test to reopen safely, with the goal of protecting students, faculty, and families. Validated by an FDA clinical study, the test has demonstrated 100% sensitivity and 98.8% specificity. 

The best part? Results are available in just 10 to 15 minutes. This means schools can test students and teachers before they enter the building. Our team has worked with over 15+ education systems in setting up contact tracing programs.


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