SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – One of the questions parents had at New 6′s Reopening Schools: Your Questions Answered town hall was what happens if someone tests positive?
"We really talked about how do we minimize the amount of time kids are out of school, is there a possibility to do so, and really, it comes down to having access to rapid testing," said Diane Kornegay, the Superintendent of Lake County Schools.
Kornegay said they will be providing rapid tests to school staff and students, both before the school year starts, and if someone tests positive.
She said these are the tests that involve a finger prick and allow people to know in 10 to 20 minutes if they are positive for COVID-19.
Kornegay called the rapid tests a game-changer.
She said it allows them to act quickly if someone tests positive for COVID-19 during the school year.
Lake County school officials said people who test positive for COVID-19 would be required to quarantine for three days and would then be tested again.
Officials add, once they have a negative test, they can return to school.
Kornegay said the rapid test also tests for COVID-19 antibodies, and said getting the rapid tests for their district was a collaborative effort between the school district, Lake County, Adult Medicine of Lake County, and the Florida Department of Health.
At Monday night’s town hall, other school districts weighed in on how they plan to respond if someone tests positive at one of their schools.
“It depends on the actual case and what has transpired, and then the contact tracing will help us determine who goes home and for how long, and we coordinate, have to coordinate closely with the Department of Health,” Orange County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins said.
Osceola County School Board Chairman Kelvin Soto offered a similar answer.
“Contacting those folks and asking for them to be tested, and of course, not returning to the school until those test results are known,” he said.
To rewatch the town hall in its entirety, click here.