Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Putnam School System Will Not Apply for Rapid Testing Program

Putnam County Schools will not apply to be a part of a state pilot program providing rapid COVID tests to schools.

Director of Schools Corby King said there are community partners like the Putnam County Health Department and clinics filling the void on testing. King said the nursing staff already has more responsibility than usual.

“We don’t have the staff or the manpower to add anything else to their plate, and also… Really just don’t want to turn our schools into testing sites for COVID,” King said. “Even if it’s for staff and students, that would be very difficult to manage.”

King said the nursing staff is already working to take care of students, staff and managing the school system’s COVID dashboard. He said they already have the responsibility of administering medicine that students need.

“Their daily responsibilities just taking care of students and staff members who come to see them for just general sickness and things that they deal with throughout the day,” King said. “Giving students medicine, our nurses have a lot of different responsibilities within the building and COVID has already really heightened that for them.”

This pilot program is through a partnership between the Tennessee Department of Health and Education.

“There’s a set number of rapid tests that have been made available, that school systems could apply for and could become testing centers,” King said. “You have to apply and go through a certification process and working with Department of Health to do that.”

King said there are other places in Putnam County where that would be more appropriate for COVID testing. Hamilton County is the first school district to implement this pilot program in Tennessee.