Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools to implement COVID-19 rapid test pilot program

Coronavirus

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – School leaders in Montgomery County are working to roll out rapid tests for COVID-19.

The rapid test pilot program is specifically for employees and would be completely voluntary.

According to the Director of Schools Millard House, the state released the possibility of rapid tests being available for school systems and the Clarksville Montgomery County School System was among a handful that showed interest.

He said staffing issues due to virus cases have forced some schools into remote learning.

“In each one of those situations, it’s not necessarily about COVID cases. Yes, we have some positive COVID cases in those schools, it’s the quarantines. And those quarantines may be quarantines because that teacher has been a close contact of something that has nothing to do with [the school],” said House. “It may be a wedding that was attended, it may have been something that happened in the school building, it may have been their spouse or their child but those cases mount up.”

The district is in the planning stages now and the tests would be done through their own medical clinics within the school system. They’ve ordered 160 tests and they hope to start using them as soon as they come in.

“We think that this pilot could allow us to look at things differently, may even allow for a teacher to have a better understanding of whether they’re positive or negative and that could have some impact eventually on return,” House added. “As CDC guidance has become more clear, has changed, it’s made it more evident that some of these challenges would be in front of us and as we see a rise in COVID cases throughout the country, throughout the state, throughout our county, we know that these challenges definitely can continue until we have a vaccine that’s widely spread.”

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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