PHOTOS: Preparing to welcome students back

Penny Harris, director Montrose and Olathe Early Childhood Centers, screens Stacy Trickel as part of a COVID-19 symptom screening training this past summer. The district is participating in a rapid at-home COVID-19 test through the state. 

In order to continue and expand in-person learning at all schools, Montrose County School District (MCSD) will participate in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) at-home rapid COVID-19 testing program, providing all K-12 school staff rapid COVID test kits through a partnership with BinaxNOW.

The program is designed to make routine COVID testing more accessible. All school staff will have the ability to test for COVID at home, every five days, using a simple, free nasal swab test kit and free telemedicine appointment.

According to a Jan. 6, 2021, CDPHE press release, “Colorado is one of three states with early access to the home-use BinaxNOW program. CDPHE has contracted with a digital health provider, eMed, to provide BinaxNOW home test kits for use via a virtually guided telehealth session. At-home testing reduces the staffing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and reporting burden on school health officials and is more convenient for educators and students.

"Results are available within 15 minutes of collecting a nasal swab sample. . . . Testing will be conducted via a telehealth remote proctor session and the proctor will report the results to local public health and CDPHE.”

A MCSD press release describe the resource as "a valuable tool in continuing in-person instruction through the pandemic, as educators await vaccine dose availability."

Test kits will be mailed directly to MCSD employees' home addresses and should arrive within the next two weeks.

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