The US government has purchased 150 million rapid-response antigen tests from Abbott laboratories, including 175 million for Missouri by spending around 760 million dollars.
Almost 400 private and public school districts in Missouri have applied for the rapid covid testing with supply constraints, only one test per person was offered.
This rapid covid testing began as an ambitious plan landed with a thud as only a few test kits were used.
What Missouri Learned The Hard Way About Rapid COVID Testing In Schools?
According to the data updated in June, schools have been reported to use just 32,300 test kits.
The rapid spread of Delta’s virus has landed everyone in emotional fights about how safe it is to send children to a school that are mostly unvaccinated.
Particularly in states like Missouri, where there are various controversies regarding mask mandates and the vaccination rates are low.
As the government is set to resume the classes, it’s time for the schools to ensure all the safety measures to prevent the spread of delta variants potentially without a supply of test kits.
Lyndel Whittle, a public school superintendent wrote in an application for antigen kits “We have no plans, nor is it our job, to administer this test to everyone,”
The district, Iberia R-V, requested 100 rapid tests, to provide one kit to each staff member.
Robert Milner said “It is difficult to get the tests done for the schools that don’t have any kind of medical staff”
While the principal of Hope Leadership Academy in Kansas City has returned many test kits to the state.
Milner said his school was able to prevent the spread of covid with various measures like temperature checks, a mask requirement, physical distancing, etc.
He further added “ I can send my families too” in the community for testing. “As educational institutions, we’re here to provide knowledge, not a healthcare provider”.
Kelly Garrett, executive director of KIPP St. Louis, a charter school with 2,800 students and 300 staffers, said we are worried about the kids being sick and increasing the risk of transmission.
Elementary students returned in November. Around 120 tests are reserved for “emergency” situations.
Educators in Missouri said the testing that began last October has turned out to be a boon for spotting out the infected people and giving teachers peace of mind.
According to interviews and documents obtained by KHN. Many schools and districts that have applied for rapid tests listed just one health care professional to administer them.
This is not as simple as it seems to be.
The officials are reluctant to order too many as the rapid tests initially were set to expire after six months.
While few are worried if the tests would deliver inaccurate results.
And people with covid symptoms might spread infection during on-site testing.
Gov. Mike Parson said children would definitely contract the virus at a certain point in the school.” and hence has preferred remote learning.
These rapid response antigen test kits are very helpful than various other testing equipment as these give rapid results.