COVID-19 testing and monitoring program launches for CCSD

Program has been available to rural counties since October

Associated Press
December 03, 2020 - 7:06 am
Epidemic concept COVID-19. Coronavirus Test Station. Medical worker in full protective gear takes sample from patient at a COVID-19 drive-thru test site.

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Las Vegas, NV (KXNT) - The Clark County School District has been in full distance-learning mode since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with both district officials and union leaders saying that they wouldn't feel comfortable about returning to class without some sort of program in place to ensure their safety as well as their students.

Since mid-October, the Taskforce Initiative for Educator Safety and Screening ( or "T.I.E.S.") has been working with several districts across Nevada to provide free testing and symptoms monitoring for COVID-19, with the goal being to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Nevada’s public schools. 

The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) has partnered with THT Health, who created the T.I.E.S. program for Clark County School District and expanded it statewide. CCSD, the fifth largest district in the nation, will implement the T.I.E.S. program on Wednesday.

The goal of T.I.E.S is to test and monitor employee symptoms and provide positive test results to local health authorities to assist in their contact tracing efforts. Since mid-October, T.I.E.S. has offered the testing program to 5,500 Nevada public school employees spread across nine rural school districts and the State Public Charter School Authority.

With its introduction to CCSD, T.I.E.S. will be available to an additional 42,000 public school employees. All employees are encouraged to participate.

“These measures will ensure the safety of the entire Clark County community. By getting teachers to test and monitor their symptoms now, they will establish good public health habits that will support reopening of schools in 2021. Furthermore, when a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, T.I.E.S. can support the next phase of the pandemic response and help our educators return to some level of normalcy with lower risk,” said Michael Skolnik, Chief Executive Officer of THT Health.

Funding for the T.I.E.S. testing program was made possible by a State allocation of federal CARES Act funding through December 30, 2020. Continued funding of T.I.E.S. is dependent on future Federal and State allocations of CARES Act dollars.