LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - The Lake County School District is offering rapid tests for students and employees, part of a partnership with Adult Medicine, the health department, and the county government.
Tori, 5, can’t wait to start kindergarten, but even before she steps into class, she’ll be allowed to take a rapid test for COVID-19. With a prick to the finger, COVID results are produced in 10 minutes.
"I think it is a good move," says mom Jess Ward. "I think it would bring a lot of comfort to other parents and other teachers."
The father of Gianna, 7, also likes the idea of rapid testing as she heads back to school.
"I think it is great they are offering it to staff and students," said Anthony Gismonde, who is both a father and a teacher. "As a teacher, I’m a little scared. I see a lot of students a day."
The Education Association president believes having rapid testing will help calm teachers down and reduce the number of days to quarantine.
"They can get the results and only quarantine for three days rather than a full 14 days," said Stuart Klatte, the president of the Lake County Education Association.
Sherri Owens, the spokesperson for Lake County Public Schools, says the rapid tests will continue to be available during the school year.
"We will have a roving team of nurses that can come and administer the test so students and staff can find out right away if there’s actually an infection," Owens explains. "These tests will be offered at no charge to students or staff."
Ward said she’s not worried about sending her daughter to school.
"The only thing I’m a little nervous about is if there’s a closure," she said.
With rapid tests, the district hopes to avoid any closures.
The district will email dates and times that testing is available before school starts.