What Is The Covid-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program in North Carolina Public Schools?

Covid-19 has disrupted all aspects of life, and education is not exempt. Schools in North Carolina have switched to remote learning in response to the virus; however, in-person learning is as important as it is effective for many students in order to ensure they receive a quality education. The Covid-19 rapid testing pilot program in North Carolina public schools aims to counteract the impact this virus has had on education, but what does the program entail?

What is the Covid-19 rapid testing pilot program in North Carolina public schools?

The Covid-19 rapid testing pilot program aims to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and keep in-person learning safe by regularly testing both students and staff. This process will catch cases of Covid-19 before they have the chance to spread among the school body, potentially forcing school closures and causing lost learning days.

The initiative will take place in 17 school districts and 11 charter schools throughout North Carolina using the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen nasal swab. This test is administered onsite by a health professional and returns results within 15 minutes.

You can access more Covid-19 guidance for K-12 schools in North Carolina here. Information about what to expect with school reopenings, information about children and Covid-19, FAQs, and more can be found here.

How in-home testing is safer and more effective

Although the pilot program is a great way to screen students and staff for Covid-19, enabling schools to provide quality in-person learning, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider.

  • The pilot program only uses the rapid antigen test. This test provides faster results than other types of Covid-19 tests, but it also has a higher chance of returning false positives and negatives. These are incorrect results that can miss someone who is sick or flag someone who does not actually have the virus
  • The program is only taking place at a limited number of schools in North Carolina
  • Your student must be at school for the test, during which time they may be exposed to someone who is sick. Conversely, if your student is sick, they may unintentionally expose other students to the virus
  • You may have to make extra trips if your student or someone else at the school tests positive for Covid-19, which isn’t always convenient for busy parents

That’s where in-home testing comes in. As the name suggests, in-home tests take place where you live. You’ll know if your student is sick without having to make a special trip.

In-home testing has many advantages over Covid-19 tests at school:

  • In-home tests take place at home, which is a more comfortable and less stressful environment for children
  • In-home tests are convenient since they don’t require you to travel to a testing center, a doctor’s office, or your child’s school
  • You don’t risk potentially exposing others to the virus if your child is sick
  • You don’t risk your child becoming infected at school if someone else is sick
  • You aren’t limited to the rapid antigen test offered by the pilot program. You can get accurate tests with fast results at home with the rapid RT-PCR. This test offers the same accuracy as standard RT-PCR, the gold standard of Covid-19 tests, but with results in 30 minutes.

In-home tests must be paid out of pocket, although some insurance providers may provide reimbursement for private testing. However, the convenience and safety of in-home tests is invaluable for many busy families.

Related:

Safe And Easy In-Home Covid-19 Testing For Families

Drip Hydration brings your appointment directly to you in the Raleigh area. Our nurse arrives at your door with your test of choice and all the necessary equipment in hand. Rapid antigen and rapid RT-PCR tests can be processed on site for results within 30 minutes, while standard RT-PCR tests are sent to a lab for results within 3 business days. We make family testing a simple, safe process.



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