Middletown schools become proving ground for in-school rapid COVID-19 testing pilot program

The BINAXNOW test, from Abbott U.S., returns results in less than 15 minutes.

News 12 Staff

Nov 5, 2020, 10:50 PM

Updated 1,316 days ago


School officials in Middletown say a new rapid COVID-19 test pilot program might be the best chance their students have to stay in class and in the building through the end of the year.
The BinaxNow test, from Abbott U.S., returns results in less than 15 minutes,
The state is providing a supply of the new test to each of Middletown's schools, paid for with federal grants and administered by professionals from Community Health Center.
Officials say the plan is to administer the rapid tests only to students who are showing symptoms while at school - to get an early look at whether a school shutdown or quarantine is necessary.
Gov. Ned Lamont, who joined local leaders in Middletown to announce the pilot program, says that should help stop outbreaks before they start.
"It's less intrusive, you put it in a credit card-size chemical container and in less than 15 minutes you get a result. And that result gives the superintendent and the teachers here the confidence, that if it's negative you don't have to shut down and put everybody in quarantine, you can keep everybody going," he says.
Officials say the BinaxNOW test is only effective for symptomatic individuals and those receiving a negative should still make sure with a PCR test.
Middletown schools also offering free on-site PCR testing every Wednesday, courtesy of Community Health Center.
Officials say they're working on finding testing partners for dozens of other school districts.

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