LYNCHBURG, Va. – A local school district is making it easier for students and staff to get tested for COVID-19.
Starting Wednesday, Lynchburg City Schools will give away free at-home test kits as well as offer weekly testing in schools with parental consent.
“They can take it home and test within 15 minutes and know if they’re positive or negative,” Director of Student Services Latonya Brown says. “The school division is notified right away.”
The district is teaming up with the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Health to launch the Assurance Program.
It’s all voluntary and Brown says more than 100 students are already signed up.
“In terms of being an extra layer of protection, not only for the classrooms and quarantining less students, your family at home would also have a better ease,” she adds.
The nose swab tests will be in six different schools. The goal is to find positive cases as soon as possible to slow the spread, something health experts say comes at a good time.
“State labs did go back and look at samples from past weeks for Omicron and didn’t find it,” New River Valley Health Director Dr. Noelle Bissell says. “However, if it’s not here it will be.”
Trained staff will help with screening, and only positive tests will be shared with school leaders and the health department.
School leaders say they will continue to offer testing if COVID-19 is here. Both unvaccinated and vaccinated people can participate in the program.