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Longview ISD begins COVID-19 testing at high school

U.S. Med Test is conducting COVID-19 swab tests to students and staff and Longview High School.

LONGVIEW, Texas — Students and staff at Longview High School received free COVID-19 testing through a partnership with U.S. Med Test on Wednesday. 

"We’re going to be hopefully testing between 200 as well as 250 students," Assistant Superintendent and Principal of Longview High School James Brewer said.

Longview ISD, like many school districts across East Texas, is not immune to dealing with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. 

In an effort to remain transparent the district also created a "dashboard" for COVID-19 cases. 

The district's board of trustees on Monday approved U.S. Med Test to proceed with testing students and staff for COVID-19 in a two part process. 

"Our goal with Longview and any school that we’re going to be interacting with is going to be able to provide FDA approved, efficacious, safe testing if you will, anything to do with COVID-19 testing that’s going to allow with a safe environment for students, teachers, faculty to interact," U.S. Med Test President John Rosich said.. 

On Wednesday, those that had registered for the voluntary test through the district's portal received a swab test conducted by swabbing the inside of the individual's cheek. 

Rosich says on Friday those that received a test on Wednesday will be tested in a second part process using a PCR test. 

"We will be back Friday for round two of the testing," he said. "The idea is if you look at the information we have available today in regard to COVID-19 and we have to be testing everyone at least twice a week or every four days and that has to do with how the virus replicates."

Rosich says the results from Wednesday's test should be received within 24-48 hours. 

"Those results will run through their [lab partners] systems, automations and once the tests are run they will be reported directly to our software partners," he said. "That information will directly come back to each individually registered participant to their personal email directly."

Brewer says he was unsure of how the tests would be conducted, either through a nose swab or cheek swab, and was hesitant to get tested. 

"I’m kind of like the students, I was a little shaky thinking we were going to be sticking the testing the swab in the nose," Brewer said. 

Brewer says after getting tested he feels the process was simple and like students and staff awaits his results. 

It’s a voluntary program that we’re doing on campus," he said. "I volunteered as principal on this campus. I think it’s a pretty good idea of testing to see if you're positive or negative for COVID-19."

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