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COVID-19 testing kits are coming home to Dubuque students

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) -- Starting this week the Dubuque Community School District is offering free take home COVID-19 tests to their students.

The district will have the tests at every district health office. The saliva based tests provided through TestIowa had been originally ordered earlier in the year however the Department of Education just approved the testing this week.

According to Allie White, the head district nurse, COVID-19 rates are no more prevalent among students than the surrounding community. The tests’ purpose are to provide quicker contact tracing as well as provide an easy path for testing for families who couldn’t before. 

“Not every family has access to a primary care provider and sometimes there are barriers to testing sites,” White said. “So we’re hoping this really kind of helps bridge that gap.” 

White’s hope is the faster contact tracing from the at home tests will allow students to get back into the classroom faster. The at home tests provide quicker reporting to the county, which in turn allows the school district to prevent further spread. 

Registered district nurses will decide if a student qualifies for the test. Those qualifications are if a student exhibits one high risk symptom, like a new cough or shortness of breath, or two low risk symptoms such as fevers, headaches, or a sore throat.

 

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