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RPSB approves COVID-19 testing at school-based health centers

Dr. Holcombe calls this a "big advantage" for Rapides Parish
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 10:37 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2020 at 10:40 PM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - During the August 4 meeting, the Rapides Parish School Board approved a motion that will allow school-based health centers to perform COVID-19 testing.

Testing will be done through Trinity Health Care, which provides 16 school-based health centers in Rapides Parish schools. Eight of these health centers will be rapid (or quick response) testing sites for students and school employees.

How it works: Tests must be requested by parents or school employees at their discretion. If a test is requested and that individual’s school does not serve as a testing site, they’ll have to get the test done at the nearest school that does serve as a testing site. Anyone with a positive test will be placed in a “sick room” (or isolation) until they’re picked up.

“We have 32-33 hundred employees. We have 22,000 students, so you know COVID is here,” said Superintendent Jeff Powell when asked about schools starting next week. “We can’t sit back and think COVID is not going to be in our schools.”

During the meeting, Powell directed health-related questions and concerns to Dr. David Holcombe. Holcombe also saying that COVID will be in schools no matter what but offering this testing at schools will help identify those that need to be quarantined.

Powell also says that each school is equipped with extra cleaning supplies and other items needed for a safe and healthy start to the school year.

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

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