Marin school families to get free at-home COVID test kits – Times-Herald

Starting this week, a pilot project will give families at nine schools in Marin a quick COVID-19 test kit at home for free.

This project confirms whether home-based kits enhance the ability of marine students and ultimately the entire state, especially those aged 5 to 11 years who are not yet vaccinated, to control the spread of the virus. I am aiming for it. ..

“If your child is ill, you can take the test right away,” Brett Geisman, director of the Larkspur Cortemadera School District, said Monday. The test provides results in about 15 minutes.

“If it’s negative, we can bring them back to school once their symptoms are gone,” he said. “If it’s positive, you can start your contact tracing effort right away, which is much faster than traditional PCR tests, which are delayed by a few days.”

The Geisman district is home to Corte Madera’s Cove School, one of the pilot test schools. Other participants are Nikasio School, Ross School, Rusatton Elementary School in Novat, Marin’s Community School in San Rafael, Marin County Special Education, Manor Elementary School in Fairfax, and one school district in two regions, Lincoln and Laguna.

Marin’s school director, Mary Jane Burke, said that if the pilot program succeeds in controlling the virus that spreads to students, all families at Marin’s school will have access to the test by late October or early November. Said that it would be.

“Our goal is to make the test accessible to both students and parents throughout the county in the event of symptoms,” Burke said on Monday. “This will be a state-wide pilot.”

The California Public Health Service is offering the kit for free, Burke said.President Joe Biden said last week that the federal government backing Efforts to strengthen home testing for school families.

Some of the Bay Area school families Have difficulty Buy your own test kit. This is due to cost (for example, $ 23.99 for Abbott Laboratories’ Binax NOW 2-pack test kit) or out of stock at the pharmacy.

At Marin, finding appointments for traditional PCR tests has also challenged many families, Geisman said. The combination of the cost of home exams and lack of access to traditional exam appointments means that families with limited resources can suffer the worst in the event of a child’s COVID-19 infection.

“Fairness is a big goal,” said Geisman. “Everyone needs access to these home tests.”

At Cove’s school, about 380 single Binax NOW tests were sent home in student backpacks on Friday, Geisman said. At the beginning of the week, school parents disassembled the two test boxes, repackaged them into one test, and put them in an envelope with instructions on how to use them and how to report the tests performed.

The county requires parents to take pictures of the test results and include them in the post-test surveys they submit to school. When parents send the results and complete the investigation, they will undergo an exchange test, Geisman said.

“The sooner we get the information, the more time we have to deal with,” he said. “It’s a great program.”

Home exams should only be used by students or staff with symptoms such as fever, headache, runny nose, and cough. If they were exposed to the virus but showed no symptoms, they would not be eligible for home inspection under the current pilot project, Geisman said.

According to Burke, the county also plans to provide the coronavirus vaccine to children aged 5 to 11 when it becomes available. She estimates that it will not be until late October.

A county-wide webinar on schools and COVID will take place on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.Access information is at marinschools.org.

Marin school families to get free at-home COVID test kits – Times-Herald Source link Marin school families to get free at-home COVID test kits – Times-Herald

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