MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Presidential directive will ensure some 150,000 rapid result COVID-19 tests arrive in the Volunteer State next week.
President Donald Trump announced Monday that the federal government will begin distributing millions of rapid coronavirus tests to states this week and urged governors to use them to reopen schools for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The BRITAX test will be for public schools and nursing homes in the state and people will be screened to make sure they qualify. Only those with symptoms or people who’ve been exposed will be able to get the rapid result test.
The real question: who will administer the tests and will there be enough?
Right now, there are more than 65,000 public school teachers in Tennessee and about 33,00 in both Mississippi and Arkansas.
Jolie Madihalli is a mom of 5 who’s been in the public school system for more than 20 years. For the last year, she’s stood tall as the President of The Memphis Shelby County Education Association. It’s the largest union out there for educators.
“We actually hosted COVID testing in Shelby County ourselves back in the summer," said Madihalli. "Now with all the education we’ve received about COVID we know so much more. I think it would be great if teachers could be tested quickly and safely under this initiative.”
Madihalli responded to President Trump’s directive to all governors to supply all public school teachers with rapid results COVID-19 tests. She said even though her kids are doing virtual school right now she is 100 percent for it!
Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, an infectious disease specialist at Baptist Hospital, says if it’s done right, it could be a game-changer.
“You get it back faster. You can do it more cheaply and effectively. Yes, I think if it’s done correctly it will be a game-changer,” he said.
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