Rapid COVID tests coming to Miami-Dade county public schools

Safely Back to School
Posted at 4:47 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 16:47:04-05

Miami-Dade schools shut down in March when there were about 1,000 cases of COVID-19 in the state. Now, there have been 713 cases in schools alone, which reopened seven weeks ago

The Miami-Dade County Public School Board met on Wednesday to discuss COVID protocols, and the introduction of rapid testing. The state sent 7,230 BinaxNow antigen testing kits to schools in the county.

"We have actually negotiated an agreement that will provide for rapid testing to not just 7,230 students, but actually free rapid testing for all students across Miami-Dade through the University of Miami," superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

This sites have not been announced yet, but will rely on mobile units that will be deployed through the community.

"If we were to actually distribute them to schools it probably would not be very effective, number 1, and second there was some concern regarding who would administer those tests," Carvalho said. "Thirdly, we consulted with our private sector of schools, and charter schools, there was no appetite for those schools to take the tests either."

Although the county is obligated to share the tests with private and charter schools, those did not wish to take the tests. Carvalho said the district's abilities to test students whether they have symptoms or not will be greatly amplified after these testing sites open.

The county's COVID dashboard lists the schools and number of cases that have had positive cases among students or staff.