KC metro school nurses provide free COVID-19 tests for students, staff

Posted at 9:06 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 23:37:55-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — School districts on both sides of the state line in the Kansas City metro are offering students and staff free COVID-19 tests to help track the virus and eliminate delays.

The Bonner Springs School District started making tests available last week.

Every school nurse is prepared administer saliva-based tests to students who show symptoms of COVID-19. The results, according to Kristi Flack, usually take about a day.

“If we do identify a positive case, then we are able to quickly move and make sure that we are identifying close contacts and keeping them at home so we can keep more people at school,” the Delaware Ridge Elementary School Nurse told 41 Action News.

The Wyandotte County Health Department is providing the tests for Bonner Springs and other school districts within the county. The county secured grant money to pay for the tests through the end of the year.

In Missouri, the state is providing school districts like Lee’s Summit R-7 with free COVID-19 antigen tests.

“We’ve had three clinic days now,” said registered nurse Cheryl Orr. “Almost every slot was full.”

Students in Lee’s Summit currently are in virtual learning. Despite a lack of students in the classroom, demand for the test from both students and staff is high. Results come back in 15 minutes.

According to Orr, in one week the district tested 50 students and 13 staff members.

“Not only are we doing the test, we are giving them instructions right then and there on how long they should isolate, about family quarantine," she said. "So I think the education piece of it is just as important."

The district has requested 21,000 tests, one for each student and staff member. Those interested in making an appointment for a COVID-19 test can do so on the district website.