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Caldwell ISD hosted COVID-19 testing drive-thru before school year begins

Posted at 6:10 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 14:22:08-04

CALDWELL, Texas — For many schools in our area, students and staff will be walking through their schools' doors bright and early Tuesday .

Districts are preparing in a number of ways, with safety and precaution in mind.

District-wide, almost 2,000 students will be walking through the doors in Caldwell Tuesday.

"I think taking every precaution we can to help keep our kids healthy and our staff healthy and schools open, we are going to do what we can," said Tracy Ayers, Caldwell ISD's district nurse.

Similar to last year, the district held drive-thru COVID-19 testing Monday with rapid testing, exclusively for Caldwell ISD students and staff.

"Before we get ready to go back into the school, we thought we would offer an opportunity for parents to bring their kiddos by or for staff members to come by," Ayers said.

Ayers said some parents are concerned, while others are simply cautious, regardless of the reasoning, the importance of testing remains.

"Even today, the first few people that we tested actually came back positive and didn't know that they had symptoms," Ayers said. "Maybe hadn't been in close contact. It's a couple of students that may have showed up to school tomorrow with COVID and not even known it."

Eliminating the spread with a quick test, some are thankful for this proactive approach.

"Because of all of the kids, we gotta protect everybody, not just the kids, but everybody," said Ethel Mitchell, great-grandmother and Caldwell resident.

Ayers, the district nurse, said while they are not requiring testing, all of their campuses have rapid tests available on-site, if needed.

"I think we are one of the few districts in this area that are actually providing the rapid tests," Ayers said. "I found this last year, being in such a rural area, testing is not readily available like you might find in Bryan College Station. We utilized it a lot last year."

While Ayers would have liked to see more traffic come in for the event, she said with the turnout that they did have, it was well worth even catching a few cases.