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'We have test kits on hand' BCPS has stockpile of rapid COVID tests should nurses need them

Posted at 5:25 PM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 18:10:34-04

TOWSON, Md. — A letter sent out Wednesday to team members at Baltimore County Public Schools outlines the district's COVID-19 response plan.

The letter defines and outlines protocols for quarantine, isolation, contact tracing and what to do should students or staff test positive or display COVID-19 like symptoms.

One resource school nurses will have access to are rapid testing kits.

"We have test kits on hand that number in the tens of thousands," said a BCPS spokesperson. "These are Abbott BinaxNOW kits that we order at no cost from the Maryland Department of Health, as we participate in their school diagnostic testing program. We use these tests whenever a student or staff member develops Covid symptoms while at school."

School nurses have undergone training on how to administer the kits when needed.

According to Tuesday's letter:

"A student who develops COVID-19 symptoms in school will be offered testing and sent home from school. If the test is negative, the student should remain home until they feel better. Students who are not tested and/or students who require PCR testing will be required to remain home from school until they receive a negative test and feel better. If they are never tested, they must stay home for 10 days or until a health care provider writes a note identifying a specific alternate diagnosis."

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WMAR spoke to one parent who says the rapid test kit has been discussed in his family.

"I'm in favor of it," said Leroy Johnson. "My child's mother, she said no. So, she won on that one. My daughter knows to say 'no' if asked."

Should BCPS students miss out on in-person learning because of a COVID related issue, educators are prepared to meet their needs.

"Work will be provided digitally and in the Schoology program," said TABCO president Cindy Sexton. "There will be the opportunity for an educator to meet with her students for up to an hour a day after school or before school."