December 9, 2020 — Midland ISD will begin offering voluntary COVID-19 testing. The move comes in light of new quarantine guidelines recommended by the CDC this month. The first testing event for staff is set for Thursday, December 10. Voluntary student testing is targeted to begin January 11.
Part of the new guidelines include reducing quarantine from 14 to 7 days if an individual did not show symptoms and tested negative for COVID-19.
MISD has been approved to provide rapid COVID-19 testing. The testing will be voluntary, free of charge, and conducted in accordance with TEA/TDEM requirements. Test results will be shared only on a need-to-know basis, and participants may be required to follow up with their healthcare provider, even with a negative test result, depending on symptoms.
"Our goal in providing this testing is to prevent COVID-19 transmission on site as much as possible," said MISD Director of Health Services Imo Jean Douglas. "This will allow us to quickly identify and isolate individuals as necessary."
The first phase of testing will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning December 10; no testing will take place over Christmas break. Employees who are showing symptoms or those who are quarantined with no symptoms may receive the test from 4-7 p.m. at Central Office by scheduling an appointment.
The second phase of testing begins Monday, December 14. At this time, staff who develop symptoms while at work during the day may request a test from a campus nurse. The CDC defines certain symptoms as having the potential to be a result of COVID-19.
"In-house testing among our staff will help us improve contact tracing should new cases occur," said Douglas.
Students who show symptoms while at school may be tested on a voluntary basis beginning January 11. In order to be tested, parents must complete a permission slip. Permission slips will be emailed to parents during the first week of the spring semester.
The final phase of testing will begin January 18, as asymptomatic students on quarantine will be eligible for voluntary testing.
"We want to emphasize that the goal of this testing is to keep our staff and students healthy, and at the same time enable them to return to the classroom as soon as it is safe to do so," said Douglas.
More information will be available for staff and parents as each phase unfolds.