Harlingen CISD was one of the eight schools selected for the launch of the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program.
On October 14, Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) announced the creation of a COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for Texas school systems.
The goal of this program is to help schools conduct rapid tests of district employees and students.
“As more students return to campus for in-person instruction, the State of Texas is working alongside school officials to provide resources to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff,” Abbott said in a news release. “This rapid testing pilot program will be an effective strategy to protect the health and safety of students and staff while helping to further ensure that Texas students have access to a quality education throughout the pandemic and beyond.”
The TDEM will provide the participating school systems with COVID-19 rapid antigen tests that will be administered to students, teachers, and staff who choose to participate. The testing of students will only be performed with the written permission of their parents.
Schools enrolled in the program will also receive personal protective equipment to be able to safely administer the rapid tests, which produce reliable results within 15 minutes.
Although the initial launch of the program only included eight participating school systems, the plan is to expand the program across the state.
“Harlingen CISD is honored to be selected as a participant in the COVID-19 Campus Level Testing Pilot,” Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos said. “As one of the eight school systems chosen from across the state to receive access to these rapid tests, we have an outstanding opportunity to inform and improve state-wide health and safety practices. We thank Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Education Agency, and Texas Division of Emergency Management for thinking of Harlingen CISD as a qualified school community for this program and look forward to working hand-in-hand in creating systems that will enhance school safety. We will continue to keep our HCISD community informed as we learn more from the state agencies about this pilot program.”