Antigen testing: What Missouri and Arkansas schools are doing with the federally funded testing program

Local News

KIRBYVILLE, Mo. – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services prioritized public and private K-12 schools to receive the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen test kits free of charge, along with higher education institutions and long-term care facilities.

Missouri is expected to receive a total of 1.84 million Abbott BinaxNOW antigen test kits, while Arkansas is set to receive 900,000.

Kathryn Gubin, a registered nurse working for Kirbyville School District, says acquiring these test kits will keep students in the classroom.

“If they do test positive, we want to send them home and have them start their isolation and then start identifying close contacts of that person so they can start their quarantine. If it is something more like strep throat, a cold, flu, something like that, that’s something that’s treatable. And so, we can go ahead and refer them to their doctor so that they can initiate treatment. That way, it helps with day’s loss at school, too, because that’s ultimately what we’re trying to do. It’s been a tough process so far.”

Kirbyville Superintendent Dr. Carless Osbourn shares why he applied for the program and why other schools didn’t apply.

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