Dell City ISD Announces Plan for Implementing BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Testing
To help keep our students and staff safe, Dell City ISD is participating in a new rapid testing program for Covid. The testing is free and voluntary – written parental consent for testing is required for students under 18. The test – which is called BinaxNOW – returns results in 15 minutes, and has been shown to be highly accurate: evaluations show the test has a “true positive rate” of 97.1 percent, and a “true negative rate” of 98.5 percent.
The school will begin offering the tests Monday, Nov. 2. You can download and print a permission form here.
You may also call our Main Office – at 964-2663 – to receive a permission form. Permission forms will also be available at school.
Here is a letter for Supt. Ruben Cervantes on the program:
At Dell City ISD, we are committed to doing all we can to keep staff and students healthy and safe. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to share that we will be taking part in a statewide program offering rapid tests for use in schools. This program will allow the district to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals and reduce the risk to our community.
With guidance from the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Hudspeth County Health Department (HCHD), Dell City ISD will be implementing BinaxNOW Rapid COVID-19 testing at our school.
Rapid antigen-based testing will potentially give Dell City ISD the ability to quickly identify and isolate positive individuals before they can transmit the virus to others. In turn, this will help reduce the amount of absences for individuals waiting on test results and help to fast track treatment and quarantine for positive individuals and their close contacts.
Participation in BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 testing is voluntary for students and staff members. Students must have written permission from parents in order to be tested.
Who is eligible to test?
• Dell City ISD students and staff members are eligible to receive the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Testing.
Are permission slips required to administer tests on students?
• Yes, any student under the age of 18 must have written parental consent to be tested or screened.
Can the school district require a student or staff member to take the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Testing?
• No, schools cannot mandate the use of the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Testing on their students or staff.
Can we charge students or staff to take this test?
• No. These tests are being provided free of charge from the federal government. School systems cannot charge for administering the tests.
How invasive is the test?
The BinaxNOW COVID 19 Rapid Test consists of a less invasive swab of the nostrils.
How accurate is this type of test?
• Abbott - BinaxNOW evaluated its test in 102 patients who had shown COVID-19 symptoms for less than 7 days and compared the results with a PCR test. This analysis showed that BinaxNOW has a:
o sensitivity (true positive rate) of 97.1%
o specificity (true negative rate) of 98.5%
Do test administrators have to be medically trained?
• No, individual test administrators must complete the required training and report all results through txrapidtest.org.
Who is the Testing Coordinator and Testing Administrators?
• Testing Program Coordinator (Point of Contact): Mr. Ruben Cervantes
• Test Administrators (Overseer of Testing): Mr. Carlos Contreras and Mrs. Peggy Beltran
Can students and staff enter the required information before they come in for a test?
• Yes. Have students and staff over 18 years of age go to: https://register.txrapidtest.org/.
They will need to fill out the information required, and press submit. A QR code will be created that contains the information necessary to register. They may print out the QR Code or take a picture on their phone to bring to the testing location.
• Legal guardians of students under 18 years of age may also use the QR Code generator for their children, but they must also provide a signed permission slip.
How long does the test take?
• After the test is obtained using a sterile swab, the ABBOTT - BinaxNow Card takes 15 minutes to return a result.
If I test (+) positive, do I have COVID-19?
Presumptive Test: This test is only an indicator of the presence of the COVID-19 virus.
• A formal medical evaluation and certified laboratory verification would be necessary to indicate a confirmed infection
• Presumptive-positive results also do not rule out bacterial infection or coinfection not related to COVID-19.
Does this test identify the common cold or strep throat?
• No: This is a specific test for the COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV2
What happens when someone tests positive at school?
• This is a process that will be determined at the local level. It is recommended that schools follow public health guidance from DSHS and the CDC and that any positive case be removed from the campus and seek a PCR test to confirm the positive result.
If a student or staff member receives a positive test results, should we direct them to get a PCR (molecular) lab-based test?
• Yes, this is a presumptive positive test and is a mechanism for schools to immediately identify presumptive positive cases. People receiving a positive test should consider obtaining a more formal PCR (molecular) lab-based test.
Is the school system responsible for contact tracing of the tests administered?
• School systems should work with their local health authority to support contact tracing requirements.
If you have any questions concerning the testing, please feel free to contact me at (915) 964- 2663 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for support!
Dell City ISD Superintendent
Download Supt. Cervantes' letter here: