Free COVID Testing Begins Monday for District Students and Staff | Education



Students and staff at Santa Fe public schools with symptoms of COVID-19 can get free tests starting Monday at Aspen Community Magnet School.

Unvaccinated staff members who undergo mandatory weekly testing and students participating in voluntary weekly testing can take the tests on Mondays at a drive-thru site in the Technology Department’s warehouse.

The warehouse site is also open to students and staff who suspect they have COVID-19 despite having no symptoms.

Testing will not be offered during winter or spring break.

In order for the district to host testing sites, administrators had to apply for a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act waiver from the New Mexico Department of Health. This exemption was approved at the end of September.

Premier Medical Group staff will perform polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, testing at both sites. The PCR test takes genetic material as opposed to proteins, as rapid tests do. It is the only variety approved by the Department of Public Education, and results can take two or three days.

The news came over the course of a week in which the district announced 17 more positive cases among staff and students, some of which may have come from the school.

On Tuesday, the district said that a student at Salazar Primary School who tested positive on September 20 likely contracted the virus at school.

It is not known if a student at Capital High School who tested positive on September 24 could also have contracted the virus on campus.

Single positive cases have also been identified at Chaparral and Cesar Chavez Elementary Schools and Ortiz College, as well as three at Ramirez Thomas Elementary School. None have been shown to be from the school.

The district said on Thursday that six other students and three staff members tested positive, including a student and staff member from Capital High, a student from Atalaya Elementary School and a member of staff from the elementary school. Cesar Chavez.

The district said Thursday that two students and a staff member at Ramirez Thomas Elementary School likely contracted the virus at school.



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