Rapid COVID-19 testing approved for Peoria Public Schools’ students & staff

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — More COVID-19 testing is on the way for Peoria Public School District 150 students and staff.

During the district’s school board meeting Monday evening, the board unanimously voted to approve a memorandum of understanding, an agreement, with the Peoria City/County Health Department to provide “Standing Orders” for COVID-19 BinaxNOW antigen testing.

Board members said the initiative will help students and staff return sooner and safer. School Board President Doug Shaw said the rapid tests will be given to symptomatic students and staff when school is in session and in most cases results will be known in 15 minutes.

He said, in collaboration with UnityPoint, the tests will be administered at the Trewyn Wraparound Center starting Nov. 30.

“It gives you an immediate picture of what’s going on,” Shaw said. “If you have a symptomatic person you can test that person and within minutes you can know whether or not that person’s positive. So, that is just for everybody’s safety that it’s an important step.”

Shaw said the health department will also assist the district with contact tracing and investigations if an outbreak were to happen. He said they’re currently in talks about expanding the rapid testing to the district’s other buildings.

He also said in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the region, the district will switch to remote learning from Nov. 30-Jan.19.

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