WACO, Texas — On the spot, 15-minute COVID-19 test results will come to Midway Independent School District as the district prepares to roll out on-campus tests in the coming weeks. This is the first district in Central Texas to offer rapid COVID-19 testing and Telehealth options.
"Telehealth is kind of the way medicine is going, especially in the COVID world. We had already seen that trend starting," Lead Nurse for Midway ISD DeeAnn Kleypas said. "For the district, it's a benefit in that we can immediately treat the child."
The entire nursing staff underwent training for on-site COVID-19 testing and virtual doctor's visits. This was an opportunity for on-site nursing staff to implement new ways to get children treated faster if they get sick.
"The student walks in and we can immediately determine, with the assistance of a physician, exactly what we're dealing with and have medication called out and at a pharmacy by the time a parent comes and picks up a child," Kleypas said.
Kleypas believes the breakthrough in Telehealth doctor visits and the ability to test children who present symptoms on-site with a rapid COVID-19 test is monumental. COVID-19 tests and strep tests will have results within minutes, not hours or days. This is a game-changer for children's health care today.
"Now we'll be able to get that done almost immediately and figure out what we're dealing with as far as the disease process and hopefully they're back within 24-hours because we can get antibiotics on board much quicker," Kleypas said.
As Americans continue to get a grapple on the coronavirus and mitigate the spread, flu season is just around the corner. Kleypas said that having the ability to use Telehealth visits and rapid COVID-19 testing together, it will help nurses on staff differentiate between the two a lot quicker.
"COVID runs the gamete when you look at the body systems," she said. "The symptoms are so broad and it will help our nurses know exactly what their dealing with."
Kleypas said the plan is to roll out more information and a consent link to parents next week, but they can opt-out if they don't want their child to participate in the Telehealth visits. She said if parents do opt-out and depending on their symptoms, they will need to pick them up and seek treatment from a healthcare provider outside of the school.
"I see it as a benefit to our families, especially our working families," Kleypas said. "We can take care of so much of what would normally be done outside of the school building which cuts down on their time away from their employment."