Urbana schools unveil COVID-19 testing plan

Education

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Urbana school district leaders are set to review a pilot program with the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education that would enable rapid testing on-site.

The district is also expected to discuss 3rd quarter learning plans at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

The state would provide Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Antigen point-of-care (POC) molecular tests within the district.

According to documents released by USD 116, the rapid tests will allow the district to respond to:

1. Staff members or students presenting with COVID-19 symptoms within a District school
facility

2. Staff members in District facilities may be tested regularly to surveil the health of the
school community.

3. Monitoring and testing of exposed students and/or staff populations when exposed to a
potentially infected individual through a close contact or exposure.

4. Providing students and staff within the District the capability to get tested for COVID-19
when they:
a. Suspect an infection, but have yet to attend school (e.g., in cases of pre-screening
symptoms resulting in an absence)
b. Have been notified by the District through designated communication protocols or
contact tracing that a student or staff member has been exposed while in a District
facility

Urbana School District

The tests would be free for the district because it’s participating in Phase Two of the pilot program.

Under this plan, testing will occur at multiple sites at schools across the district. The district will test symptomatic staff and students. Students will only be tested if they have a signed parent waiver on file providing permission for testing. Staff members will only be tested if they have a signed consent on file.

Staff will also have ability to test for surveillance purposes once a week at the following locations:

  • Urbana Middle School (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Urbana High School (Mondays and Fridays)
  • Gerber staff will be able to test at the School-Based Health Center located off of Iowa St. and Tiger Lane.
  • Central Office, Maintenance and Facilities, and Adult Education staff will also be able to test at the School-Based Health Center on Wednesdays.
  • Elementary school staff will arrange for testing on-site at their school locations during approved testing hours of operation.

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