Hillsborough Schools to offer rapid COVID-19 testing to teachers, staff

Coronavirus

(Photo by David Hecker/Getty Images)

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – As teachers prepare to go back to classrooms on Monday, one Tampa Bay school district is offering them expedited COVID-19 testing.

Hillsborough County Public Schools announced Monday that it will offer rapid COVID-19 testing to the district’s teachers and other employees.

“Our teachers and employees are the heart and soul of Hillsborough County Public Schools, and their safety is paramount to not only this administration, but to our entire community,” Superintendent Addison Davis said in a news release.

The district partnered with Tampa General Hospital to make the tests available at several of its urgent care clinics, located downtown and in Brandon, Riverview, Carrollwood, Tyrone, Westchase, South Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, Seminole.

“Our employees will now have access to COVID-19 expedited testing to ensure they have the information they need, faster, should they come into contact with a potential carrier of the virus or display symptoms,” Davis added. “We have a responsibility to provide a safe back-to-school experience for our staff, while reducing the spread of this challenging virus, and this opportunity ultimately provides a step towards normalcy for the Tampa Bay area.”

Employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or those who may have been exposed to the virus are encouraged to contact their school’s designated COVID-19 lead to schedule testing. Teachers and staff will receive priority scheduling. Test results should be available within 72 hours.

To be eligible, teachers and staff must be displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to the virus. They must also be enrolled in a district insurance plan through Humana.

Employees will be asked to sign a release allowing their test results to be shared with the school district “to ensure all appropriate protocols are followed.”

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