Drive-thru COVID-19 testing available to AISD students for free

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo ISD announced that students will have access to free COVID-19 testing through the district beginning Tuesday, Dec. 8.

According to AISD, students currently enrolled in AISD, who are showing symptoms of COVID-19, will be able to be tested at the district’s drive-thru testing site. Parents must be present for a student to be tested said AISD.

AISD said testing is already available to AISD staff and is offered in partnership with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) as part of a district level COVID-19 testing project. Tests are also free to staff.

“Any rise in cases concerns us, but we also know that easier access to testing can mean faster diagnosis and treatment. Better data could help us identify where the spread is and help us know if we could potentially slow it and it provides an even more accurate picture of how widespread COVID is in our schools and community,” said Executive Director of Human Resources Chris Tatum.

The testing location is at the southeast corner of AISD’s Rod Schroder Education Support Center at 7200 I-40 West.

Testing is available on Mondays for staff only from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for staff and students.

The testing site may be closed for inclement weather.

Tatum said, “We’re saying, ‘Hey, if you’re symptomatic, come get tested, and you’ll know immediately.’ So what that does, it has really taken our kind of this self diagnosis piece out of it. So we’re able to 97% accurately test and say, You either have it or you don’t. So you can go back to school if you’re fever free, or you’re positive, and you have to follow the return criteria.”

According to AISD, the BinaxNOW test involves a minimally invasive nasal swab and is 97 percent accurate. Trained AISD personnel will help administer the tests. Results are produced within 15 minutes and then communicated by phone, email or text to the person being tested in about an hour. 

AISD said student testing is voluntary and all students, even those who have turned 18, must be accompanied by a parent. Both students and staff should complete the following steps prior to testing and bring the necessary documentation with them to the testing site. 

  • Pre-register for testing at the website linked.
  • Bring a copy (paper or digital) of the QR code received after pre-registering.
  • Print and complete the Staff or Student Consent Form.
  • No testing will be allowed without a completed and signed consent form and pre-registration QR code.
  • Students must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian.
  • Students will enter his/her student ID number as the Personal Identifier.
  • Staff must bring his/her AISD Employee ID Badge.
  • All individuals in the vehicle must be masked while at the testing site.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include a temperature of 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, chills or exaggerated shivering or shaking, congestion or runny nose, or significant muscle pain or severe body aches. 

According to AISD, if a positive result is confirmed the individual must follow AISD’s guidelines for re-entry for returning in-person to school or work. Those with a negative result may return to school or work immediately if no fever is present and the individual is not under isolation or quarantine due to exposure.

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