COVID-19 Testing Program Implemented in PMHS


Kate Loughran, News Editor, Junior

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the winter sports season has been able to occur through the testing program that has been implemented in the high school. This program is a surveillance testing program for high risk sports currently running, including hockey, swimming, and basketball, and will continue for the high risk fall sports season that will begin the week of March 8. 

Currently, members of the sports teams are being randomly selected to participate in the rapid tests. Ten athletes a day are tested as a means to monitor the positivity rate of COVID-19 cases in the school thus allowing teams to run safely with the assurance of the players testing negative. The test, the BinaxNOW SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test, more commonly known as the rapid test, is a nasal swab test that provides results within 15 minutes. While these tests are not as accurate as the longer PCR test, this one allows for the screening of groups of people, like sports teams, and results can be seen much faster. These tests require a higher amount of the virus to be present in order to detect COVID-19, but can still provide a sense of reassurance and are mostly reliable, and easier to administer. 

The high school has begun to expand this testing program to the general school population, as parents can currently sign their child up for a rapid test if they so wish. This is only for asymptomatic students; students who have been directed to quarantine cannot come to the school to have this test. This is another step the school is taking on the road to opening schools up fully. For the link to the sign up for testing for middle school and high school students, see the link below.