NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Free COVID-19 testing is now more readily available for teens, young adults and educators in Nacogdoches. The detection of positive cases can be determined quickly at SFA and Nacogdoches ISD.
The state provided over 3800 COVID-19 antigen testing kits to Nacogdoches ISD for January. Right now, they’re for symptomatic students, faculty and staff.
”If the parents give us permission, we electronically get that signature done and then --- here we go,” said Nita Reynolds, Nacogdoches High School nurse prior to being tested for demonstration purposes.
”We insert it into the nares until you meet resistance,” said Kelly Poole, nurse supervisor for NISD. “Then it is rolled around five times.”
About 240 educators voluntarily agreed to take the test during Monday’s in-service day.
“We had six positive cases. They could have potentially exposed a bunch of other people where we could have had to potentially shut down classrooms or even campuses,” said Poole.
Nacogdoches High School principal Dr. Ken Matthews is an advocate for COVID-19 testing.
“I think it’s something that is viable and I think it’s something that should be done, but I think it’s up to each individual who wants to make that choice. My administrative team collectively all decided--we decided on December 30 that we were all going to do it.”
At the university level, SFA has added a centrally located COVID-19 kiosk. The contracted service is for SFA students, faculty, and staff. Due to high demand, the COVID-19 testing is by appointment only.
“They’re going to try to do upwards of 150 tests every day,” shared Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president. “They’re going to be on campus for a while. So, we’re going to get a good baseline of where we are as we start the semester.”
Important data for Nacogdoches County which today reports over 32-hundred confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19.
Administrators say Nacogdoches ISD is in conversation with a contract service to offer COVID-19 vaccines. That could happen as early as February.