Grapevine-Colleyville ISD announced an expansion of their Covid-19 rapid antigen testing program to include all GCISD students.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is funding this testing program to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 on campus. The rapid antigen program was previously available only to staff. As of March 30, all students can utilize this free testing program at Mustang Panther stadium.
A Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Registered nurse performs the rapid antigen test by swabbing the front area of the nose. This technology does not require the tickle-your-brain deep nasopharyngeal swab like the PCR tests. Results come back in 15 minutes.
The district is using BinaxNowTest technology for rapid testing. BinaxNow was approved for emergency-use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Abbot labs reported a sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 98.5 in clinical trials.
Rapid antigen testing detects the fragmented pieces of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that trigger an immune response. Like PCR testing, antigen testing detects an active infection but can be done much faster.
Rapid antigen testing is approved by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). These FDA-approved tests are a highly accurate way to detect Covid-19 in patients with symptoms. Symptomatic individuals have high viral loads allowing rapid tests to accurately diagnosis Covid-19.
Rapid antigen testing is not as accurate in asymptomatic individuals or those with very low viral loads. The CDC has published a protocol on how to interpret test results.
Currently, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is offering the test only to GCISD students and staff who have Covid-19 symptoms or who have been quarantined. The TEA-funded testing program is not open to friends, family, or the general public.
GCISD updated quarantine requirements in the Spring 2021 Guide. According to CDC guidelines, a patient may end quarantine after a seven-day symptom-free period and a negative Covid test.
Campus registered nurses staff the drive-thru testing site Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm. Symptomatic employees and students can come without an appointment from 7:00-8:30. The testing center requests participants to call 817-305-4769 before coming.
Appointments are required after 8:30. Students and staff may request a referral by sending an email to email@example.com. Requests should include the name, symptoms, date the symptoms started, and a contact phone number.
All individuals will be asked to stay in the car in the drive-thru testing area near the South Ticket booth.
Test results will be reported to individuals by the campus nurse within 15 minutes. The district plans to send test results via a confirmation email within 24 hours. The GCISD updated guidelines remind all participants that positive results are shared with “the campus nurse, the GCISD Director of Health Services, and with the Tarrant County Public Health to allow for public health reporting, contact tracing, and to determine the stay-at-home period.”
Mustang Panther Stadium is located at 3000 Ira E Woods Ave.
Common Covid-19 symptoms are cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste, loss of smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Widespread testing will help keep students in school. Some students are now eligible for Covid-19 vaccination. The Texas Department of State Health Services opened up Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults 16 years old and older.
The current FDA-approved vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson are highly effective. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines offer 95% protection against Covid-19. Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine provides 72% protection against infection and 86% against severe disease.
All three vaccines are highly effective in preventing death.
Tarrant County residents may register for a vaccine appointment here.
Article originally published by Newsbreak.
Blog Author: Dr. Jeff Livingston
Main Blog Photo By: CC Mustang Panther Stadium