MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — Schools are starting a new COVID-19 testing method after winter break. This will get results back faster. It’s called antigen testing. You’ve probably also heard it called rapid-testing. It’s different from PCR testing, which is what they have at Marketplace Mall and Carle.
These rapid tests, as the name implies, can be processed quicker. That also means students who test negative can come back to school sooner. The PCR test is a bit more sensitive and checks for things the antigen test does not.
“The PCR testing would still be useful if we have somebody, for example, that was symptomatic and they tested negative by antigen, then we would ask them to confirm that by PCR because they look for different things,” said district nurse Nita Bachman.
Staff members have already been using this antigen method for two weeks. It’ll start for students after winter break. Students and staff members have to fill out a consent form before they come. Tests will be processed on-site, and results should come within 15 minutes.
The district will be doing drive-thru testing at the junior high once a week. That’s for any students or staff, regardless of symptoms or exposure. During the week they’ll do more selective testing, based on symptoms and exposure.