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Rapid COVID-19 tests will go to Arizona schools

Arizona is getting more than 2 million rapid COVID-19 tests from the federal government.

"Arizona has determined that K-12 schools will be prioritized, as well as congregate settings with vulnerable populations, which include foster care and those with developmental disabilities," the Arizona Department of Health Services said in a statement.

Officials say 142,000 of the tests are expected to arrive this week.

The ADHS said county and local health experts will decide which schools and facilities will get the tests. The executive director for the Arizona Public Health Association, Will Humble, called the tests a game-changer.

"It's a very important tool to help manage those students that come to class with certain kinds of symptoms if they get that test inside the nurse's office, for example, negative, they can go back to class," said Humble.

The tests can tell you if you're positive for COVID-19 in 15 minutes.

"Whoever runs the test needs to either be associated with a lab that is certified for that moderate complexity test or have a certificate of waiver from the state health department," said Humble.

The state said school nurses or school employees who have been trained can administer the test.

"Once the school nurse runs a few, I think they would be quite comfortable with them on a routine basis," said Humble.

Maricopa County said it's communicating with the state, but at this point, doesn't know enough about operations to comment on getting the tests. Pinal County said it was told the tests will be given out based on population. 

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Friday, 19 July 2024

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