BISD receives COVID-19 rapid test program from state

The Rapid COVID-19 Tests being used in the pilot program can detect COVID-19 in 15 minutes and is minimally invasive compared to the tests being used in other testing places.

The Brownsville Independent School District announced the district was selected to receive the COVID-19 Rapid Test Program.

This program will help schools conduct rapid tests of district employees and students – with the written permission of their parents – to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campuses.

BISD received 16,000 rapid tests and is expected to receive a monthly allocation based upon the availability of tests provided by federal partners and the participation rate of school systems.

“BISD is committed to doing all we can to keep students and staff healthy and safe,” said Dr. René Gutiérrez, superintendent of schools of Brownsville Independent School District. “With this goal in mind, we are pleased to share that we will be taking part in a statewide program offering rapid COVID-19 tests for use in our district.”

Through this program, the Texas Department of Emergency Management will provide BISD at no cost with COVID-19 rapid antigen tests that will be administered to students, teachers, and staff who choose to participate. BISD also received personal protective equipment to safely administer the rapid tests, which produce reliable results within 15 minutes.

According to the Governor’s Office, this rapid test program will be an effective strategy to protect the health and safety of students and staff while helping to further ensure that Texas students have access to quality education throughout the pandemic and beyond.

BISD will be offering these tests to staff working on campus on an as needed basis. These tests are optional, but we encourage all staff who work on campus to participate in the program. Additionally, the district will test any individual who is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Tests are also available to all students attending face-to-face instruction and who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. To participate, parents must complete a consent form. The first date testing will be available is Thursday, Nov. 5.