Dear Hawkins Parents, Guardians, and Staff,
In Hawkins ISD we are committed to doing all we can to keep staff and students healthy and safe. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to share that we will be taking part in a statewide program offering rapid tests for use in schools. This program will allow Hawkins to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals—including staff and students-- and reduce the risk to our school community. Rapid testing will potentially give Hawkins ISD the ability to quickly identify and isolate individuals who test positive for COVID19 before they can transmit the virus to others. In turn, this will help reduce the amount of absences for individuals waiting on test results and help to fast track treatment and quarantine protocols for individuals who test positive and their close contacts.
This letter offers further information on the tests and the testing program.
What COVID-19 tests are used in this program?
This program uses BinaxNOW tests, which provide results in 15 minutes and are administered using a nasal swab in the front area of the nostril. These tests have been shown to be highly accurate, with accuracy rates of 97-98% for symptomatic individuals.
Who will be tested and when?
Participation in BinaxNOW Rapid COVID-19 Testing is voluntary for staff and students. Testing will be according to each staff member’s preference and students will require parent/guardian permission before the test can be administered. No one is required to take a test.
Voluntary Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Students and Staff Protocols:
Students and Staff Sick at Home: Testing for students and staff will be offered by appointments only Monday through Friday from 7:30am-12:00 and 1:00-4:00pm excluding holidays and school breaks. The tests will be given in the staff parking lot in front of the Hawkins Elementary School. Please park in the designated parking location and call the number provided in your email to inform the nurse you have arrived. If your child is experiencing symptoms and you would like for him/ her to be tested, please do NOT send him/her to class.
Appointment Information: Parents and staff will need to schedule their appointment here: http://bit.ly/hawkinsrapidtest.
The email will provide you with the drive-up location and information for testing. The test administrator will perform the test outside to reduce the risk of exposure to others.
Student/Employee Sick at School:
Student: If a student becomes sick while at school, they will be moved to an isolated location. The parent/guardian will be contacted about the situation. The parent will determine if they would like their student tested. A parent permission slip will be required to proceed with testing.
Employee: If an employee becomes sick at school, they will be asked to immediately go to an isolated location and may volunteer to receive a test. If they choose not to test and wish to go home, they may do so immediately. This must be done quickly to reduce the spread of the virus.
Student/Staff Close Contact: New health guidelines recommend that testing after close contact should occur on day five. If the student or staff member comes in close contact with a positive case, they must be quarantined for 10 days, and they may schedule a test at the campus on day five.
Testing Program Coordinator (Point of Contact): Nurse Natalie Hlavenka
What is the cost? In addition, do I need insurance?
All testing is free and at no cost to the staff member/student. Health insurance is not required.
What do I need to complete?
Students and staff will need to submit self-report on our website if you are displaying COVID19 symptoms and awaiting test results.
Schedule an appointment here: http://bit.ly/hawkinsrapidtest
Arrive at your scheduled appointment time to have the test administered.
How will the information from the tests be used?
If your student is experiencing symptoms, the school will call to inform the parent/guardian of the illness. Parents/guardians granting permission for your child to be tested will need to be provided. The BinaxNOW test will be administered.
The test administrator will also call to share the results after the test has been administered and/or the results will be shared with you via your email and text message. Additionally, the student’s parent or guardian will receive test results via text within 30-60 minutes and will also receive a confirmation email within 24 hours from the testing site.
The results will also be shared with the school/district and with the local health department to allow for public health reporting, contact tracing, and to determine the stay-at-home period for individuals who test positive. Additionally, the total number of positive tests per school will also be shared with the Texas Department of State Health Services as is required by law.
What happens next?
Tests are available to all students who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. To participate, parents must complete the permission form. The first date testing will be available is February 2, 2021.
Negative tests: In the event the test is negative, the student/staff member will still be sent home if displaying symptoms that are considered contagious or COVID-related. The parent and staff member will need to share the test results with the doctor to ensure the student or staff member is safe to return to school. The parent or staff member should follow up with their physician to rule out COVID or receive an alternative diagnosis.
Positive tests: The employee/student will be required to stay home for 10 days once symptoms begin to improve.
Parent Permission Forms can be downloaded here. If you do not have a printer, a copy of the form will be provided to you in person prior to testing.
Sincerely, Stephanie McConnell, Superintendent