Rapid testing in schools- any here in MA?

Posted

Specializes in Pediatrics, Community Health, School Health. Has 25 years experience.

Our district is set to begin the new rapid tests and I am wondering if anyone is doing these in their schools, especially if you are in MA.  We were just told that we are going to begin "sometime next week" but I imagine there is extensive training for administering the tests and of course no in in the district seems to know anything about that.  Would love to hear from anyone who is doing these in their districts.

Cattz, ADN

Specializes in School Nurse. Having conversations with littles.. Has 35 years experience.

We aren't doing them yet. But, it is in the works in Missouri. I will find the link to the webinar that we just had last week. The type of test is the BinaxNOW Antigen test.  Here is the link https://livestream.com/modese/antigentests 

 

I have gotten a pretty good understanding of the logistics. I would be happy to answer some basic questions if it is the same test as in your state.

k1p1ssk, BSN, RN

Specializes in pediatrics, school nursing. Has 10 years experience.

The private school I work at in MA has a Quidel Sofia2 antigen test machine. It cost around 5k from what I've heard. They are hard to get now because the federal government seized most of them and I'm sure did something bad (I.e. sell them off at a markup to places like the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc). However, last I heard, DPH won't accept a rapid/antigen screen for negative or positive screens. You can let them know you've had a positive, but they will want a PCR run to confirm, which is making the machine a little redundant at the moment... BUT, I've heard the NH is accepting the Quidel Sofia2 results as standard now; The preliminary research is showing that the Quidel test is just as accurate at the PCRs, if not more so for nasal swabs. Can't say the same for all of the antigen tests out there...

Cattz, ADN

Specializes in School Nurse. Having conversations with littles.. Has 35 years experience.

Actually- accuracy of the BinaxNOW Test has a False Positive of 1.5% and False Negative of 2.9%. This is as long as it it used to test symptomatic people in the first 7 days of symptoms.  Those numbers are impressive.

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

Nope. But we are looking at doing the PCR test. The rapid test needs to be distributed by the local government now and we don't have access to it (plus as mentioned above in MA it isn't official unless it is a PCR test). We do have access to a testing partnership that has PCR testing with ~24 hour turnaround though and looking into that for once a week surveillance testing.

1 minute ago, JenTheSchoolRN said:

plus as mentioned above in MA it isn't official unless it is a PCR test

Well exactly- this is my worry- that our district was gung ho and excited to receive these FREE rapid tests but haven't thought about it carefully in terms of accuracy, if results will be accepted by the BOH, etc.  They also mentioned we would begin testing sometime in the next week but even our nurse leader has zero information- so someone (I am guessing the SI) made the decision without talking to anyone else about the implications, shocking I know 🙄

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

5 minutes ago, MHDNURSE said:

Well exactly- this is my worry- that our district was gung ho and excited to receive these FREE rapid tests but haven't thought about it carefully in terms of accuracy, if results will be accepted by the BOH, etc.  They also mentioned we would begin testing sometime in the next week but even our nurse leader has zero information- so someone (I am guessing the SI) made the decision without talking to anyone else about the implications, shocking I know 🙄

So shocking....::eye roll::

I'm on a committee looking at surveillance testing. It is mucho $$ but in line with what the MA colleges are doing - PCR with quick turnaround (if run in state can have a 48 hour or less turnaround time.)

Best part of the collaboration is I can have EMS do all the testing (I do the scheduling) and they also courier the samples to the approved lab. The results get reported to both the school and DPH, which is great. (And also directly to staff, who can log in to see the results). 

scuba nurse, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing, Pediatrics. Has 31 years experience.

I work in a large city district in MA and we were told we are NOT going to be doing it! I am thankful for that, I don't want to add that to my duties, we already have enough to deal with. Plus we are still remote, and who knows how long that will be, but I am guessing awhile. 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

22 hours ago, MHDNURSE said:

Our district is set to begin the new rapid tests and I am wondering if anyone is doing these in their schools, especially if you are in MA.  We were just told that we are going to begin "sometime next week" but I imagine there is extensive training for administering the tests and of course no in in the district seems to know anything about that.  Would love to hear from anyone who is doing these in their districts.

Under what circumstances are you doing the tests? Random, or when some criteria have been met?

3 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

Under what circumstances are you doing the tests? Random, or when some criteria have been met?

Our district wants to bring back more students in November and wants to be able to test all staff - so this would also be testing asymptomatic people, not just a possible symptomatic kid in the office.

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

Just now, MHDNURSE said:

Our district wants to bring back more students in November and wants to be able to test all staff - so this would also be testing asymptomatic people, not just a possible symptomatic kid in the office.

It is a huge undertaking to do this. I hope that can think about the manpower needed to do the rapid test on site, including the 15 minute waiting period. Also antigen testing is just a "probable" test and how are any positives getting reported to DPH? 

(Sorry, diving into this myself, I've been asking all these questions and main reason why I wasn't keen without a partnership - schools are NOT labs.)

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

38 minutes ago, MHDNURSE said:

Our district wants to bring back more students in November and wants to be able to test all staff - so this would also be testing asymptomatic people, not just a possible symptomatic kid in the office.

Sounds too much like taking over primary care or public health duties. I know that MA makes a Rapid Response Team available to come to schools to do mass testing, but that depends on reaching a certain number of positives in the school. What do they expect y'all to do about contact tracing if you're doing testing?