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.CHRISTINA WILLIAMS, FORT SMITH PUBLIC SCHOOLS
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.