Rapid COVID-19 testing underway at Fort Smith Public Schools


The state has also provided the Binax system that, through voluntary participation, may better identify staff members who are asymptomatic.

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Fort Smith School District began administering two state-supplied COVID-19 testing systems on December 3.

Northside High School in Fort Smith was one of 14 schools chosen to receive rapid COVID-19 testing kits for students and staff and Thursday marked the first day these tests were put to use.

Based on COVID-19 numbers and a history of on-site modifications, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) chose Northside High School as the Fort Smith location for a BD Veritor testing machine.

The state also provided a Binax testing system to the school — where more than 60 staff members, who voluntarily signed up, can participate in a weekly testing process.

Christina Williams, with the district, said she hopes these testing systems will help keep the spread of COVID-19 within the school low.

As we continue to work through the challenges of COVID-19, anything that we can do to test and keep our students and staff as safe as possible is definitely beneficial.


All students showing COVID-19 symptoms can participate and those under the age of 18 may be tested with parent consent.

The district recently hired a nurse to administer both tests.

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