Dallas ISD has joined a rapid testing pilot program to help curb the spread of the coronavirus among students and staff.

“We are doing our best to keep schools open,” Sherry Christian, deputy chief of staff for DISD, told CBS affiliate Channel 11. “We want to stay as safe as possible, and these tests give us another tool in our toolbox to keep schools open.”

Those opting to be tested take their own nasal samples and receive results in 15 minutes. Testing is optional and requires parental consent.

Athletic trainers first administered the rapid tests to voluntary student-athletes. Following the testing of athletes, nurses will be trained to test students and staff before the free tests are made available to everyone in the district.

COVID-19 cases have been reported at several neighborhood schools, including 21 at J.L. Long Middle School, 22 at Woodrow Wilson High School and 14 at Bryan Adams High School, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The Texas Education Agency and the Texas Division of Emergency Management are offering the program, which also provides gowns, gloves, face shields and training.

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