Tahoma opens drive-through COVID testing site

Tahoma opens drive-through COVID testing site
Posted on 01/12/2021
The following message was sent Tuesday to staff and families:

Dear Tahoma families and staff,

We are adding to the school district’s coronavirus health and safety resources this week. Tahoma is partnering with the state Department of Health in a pilot program to operate a drive-through COVID-19 testing facility, located in the athletic-complex parking lot on the west side of Tahoma High School. Helping us to staff and administer the pilot program are UW Medicine-Valley Medical Center, Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, and Health Commons.

Any staff member, student-athlete, or student attending in-person instruction at any grade level who has a symptom related to COVID-19 or a known exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 can obtain a free, voluntary test while seated in their vehicle. The testing method that will be used is a mouth-swab test from a company called Curative. The company says these tests are as reliable as the PCR nose swabs that you have heard about, but are easier to administer and don’t hurt. After receiving instructions from staff at the testing location, the person being tested uses a swab to collect a sample inside their mouth (described as being similar to brushing your teeth). The completed sample is then sealed in a container and handed to the testing staff member. The sample is sent to Curative’s lab, and results are available within 24 hours of receipt (about 48 hours from the test collection). 

The process is linked to Tahoma’s daily symptom check (attestation process) for staff members and students attending in-person classes. Any student attending in person or staff member who reports a COVID-19 symptom or a known exposure will be offered a test. For additional information, and questions and answers about the test, click here.

As we work to refine our plans to bring more students back into schools, we understand that there are still many questions and concerns about returning to in-person instruction. We want to do everything we can to address these concerns.

Our goal is to put the best possible protocols in place so that our teachers, staff, students and families feel safe, protected and comfortable as they focus on teaching and learning. We believe that adding easy, convenient and reliable access to testing will help accomplish that goal.

Thank you,
Tahoma Communications Office

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