Coronavirus: Osceola school board approves plan to pool test students, staff

Students, staff will be tested on weekly rotating schedule

A member of medical personnel works testing patient samples for COVID-19 at the Rwanda Biomedical Center in the capital Kigali, Rwanda, Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Like many countries, Rwanda is finding it impossible to test each of its citizens for the coronavirus amid shortages of supplies but researchers there have created an innovative approach using an algorithm to refine the process of pooled testing that's drawing attention beyond the African continent. (AP Photo) (Uncredited, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – The Osceola School Board voted to approve a plan that will allow pool COVID-19 testing for students and staff members.

The motion to approve an agreement with Applied Ingenuity Diagnostics LLC. for coronavirus testing of employees and students in Osceola County passed 5-0 during a school board meeting Tuesday afternoon.

As part of the pool testing plan, a random sample of 10% of the student population will be tested using the following weekly rotation schedule:

  • Week 1: Kissimmee area zip codes
  • Week 2: West Side area zip codes
  • Week 3: St. Cloud area zip codes
  • Week 4: Poinciana are zip codes

Pooled testing will also be administered for teachers, ESE paraprofessionals, and LPNs according to the above schedule.

The superintendent said parents will need to sign a release giving consent for their student to participate in testing. Students and staff members will also need to sign a form to be tested.

Also as part of the contract, COVID testing will be available for all symptomatic employees, as well as antibody panel testing. Those tested should receive results back in a 48-hour period.

The Department of Health will provide the school district with test kits and train nurses on how to use them.