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Longview ISD board to discuss possible COVID-19 testing protocol for students, staff

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Updated: Aug. 24, 2020 at 6:12 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A possible COVID-19 testing protocol for Longview Independent School District students and staff members will be discussed at a public meeting Wednesday.

Included among the items listed on the district’s board of trustees action agenda is approval of an agreement with U.S. Med Test, a company offering multiple testing services and PPE supplies.

Superintendent James Wilcox said the proposal is a proactive approach to keeping students and teachers healthy.

“This could be a big deal. Longview would be the only school district in the USA undertaking something like this right now.”

According to Longview ISD communications specialist Elizabeth Ross, the plan is in its early stages and specific details of the district-wide testing protocol will be determined by board members and administrators.

“This is a testing that will allow us to keep our doors open and our students moving forward in the education mode they feel the most comfortable with. This will allow us to help our families in a way we could only dream of doing.”

It has not been determined whether testing will be required or optional, Ross said.

As of Monday, the district had reported at least seven students testing positive for COVID-19.

Currently, the district’s protocols for students showing symptoms of COVID-19 involve a clinical assessment to determine if a student or staff member will be sent home. Students diagnosed with COVID-19 are allowed to return to campus after a 14-day quarantine and consultation with a school nurse.

“No one wants to shut down. No one wants to discontinue UIL activities. But, you get to a point where that’s just what you have to do for the health and safety of everyone. We want to ensure that we have our UIL activities this year, as well as we have as much in-class learning as possible. So we are really diving into, ‘what can we do to be more proactive in testing, i.e. identifying a positive student, be they asymptomatic or not.”'

Wednesday’s Longview ISD board meeting is scheduled to begin at Noon in the boardroom of the Education Support Center on East Young Street in Longview. The meeting will also be streamed on the district’s website at www.LISD.org/BoardroomLive.

The district’s current protocols for COVID-19 are posted on their website.

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