Hoping to protect the staff, and preserve in-person learning as much as possible, the Moline School District is going to buy 1,500 COVID-19 test kits. Monday night, the board of education approved spending 33,000 dollars, using money received from the federal CARES Act.
Superintendent Rachel Savage says currently if an employee is exposed to the virus, or thinks they might have been, they have to stay home for two weeks. Or find some local testing site and then wait at least several days or longer to find out the result.
Results from these saliva tests, administered by a school nurse, would be available in about 15 minutes.
"Adding this resource as an option for staff who in particular do not want to have to go home and isolate for 14 days and are not interested in procuring a negative test result outside in the community - you know they would have this an option."
The test kits from Elysian Medical Distribution in California, cost 22 dollars each, and should be available by mid to late October. Meanwhile, Moline district staff will develop protocols for using the tests, and training school nurses.
Doctor Savage says the University of Illinois has also developed a saliva test, but it won't be available for several months, will cost more than Elysian's, and will require the test kits to be analyzed at a lab in Peoria, meaning a longer wait for results.