BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Schools districts across the Rio Grande Valley are returning to the class following Christmas break. But that is also coming with increased COVID-19 concerns, and now the demand for testing is higher as students get set to go back to school.
Brownsville ISD is now taking new measures to make sure everyone who needs a test gets one. Deputy Superintendent Dr. Nellie Cantu told ValleyCentral she has seen the high demand for testing herself.
“When I arrived shortly by 8 o’clock this morning, I saw a line that almost wrapped around the building, so there were a lot of people waiting,” Cantu said. “We decided every nurse at every school at BISD is trained to do COVID testing, however, we felt that the wellness center where we are at right now was an opportunity to get some of our staff to come in.”
Since the demand for more COVID-19 testing went up over the holiday, BISD expects at least half of its 7,500 employees to get tests by the end of the week. Test results are made available for students and staff within 15 minutes.
While BISD will update the number of positive cases per campus, the district is also ordering more tests to meet the demand.
There are also contingency plans in place for students who test positive.
“We do have what is called remote conferencing which is for the five days while they’re contagious they will be in remote conferencing and once they are cleared, they will go back to regular instruction that way there is no lapse in education,” said Alonso Guerrero, Director of Health Services at BISD.
But compared to this time last year BISD said it has adapted to the pandemic and is just focused on meeting the testing demand.
“We risk ourselves being exposed to it,” Cantu said. ” But we know this is the right thing for kids and our community at BISD.”