FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- In an effort to keep schools safer and get students back in class quicker, Sanger Unified is now offering rapid testing for COVID-19.
Administrators say this will help with contact tracing and cut down on mandatory quarantines.
"It's keeping our kids in school, which is so critical right now and it's reducing the burden on the staff of doing contact tracing," said Sanger Unified Superintendent Adela Jones.
If a student shows symptoms of COVID-19, their parent or guardian can visit the off-site testing center.
Rapid antigen tests deliver results in a matter of minutes.
Jones says this enables schools to stay open and keep students and staff safe for in-person learning.
"The testing center is really a preventative way to ensure that our kids can stay in school and we don't have massive outbreaks in a classroom, on a school site or on a team or anything like that," said Jones.
District officials estimate they've administered about 80 tests a days since implementing the program late last week.
"Prior to the test, we'd have to say pick up your child, all the siblings at all the schools they attend and take them all home until you get results on this child. This takes that out of the picture and says now, you take the one with the symptoms and test them. If they're negative, all the other kids stay in school. It's a huge relief to the families," said Sanger Unified Lead Nurse Christine Christensen.
The new program was welcome news for many parents, including James Landano, who says the rapid testing is convenient.
He got his daughter tested Thursday after she showed symptoms of COVID-19.
"It's fantastic, it's one of the reasons we love Sanger Unified. They make it so convenient for us, the school district is fantastic. Came in, swiped a QR code, registered and it took five minutes," Landano said.
She was negative, and that helped the family understand when she could return to school without an unnecessary quarantine period.
Sanger Unified partners with state for voluntary rapid testing program
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