WACO, Texas — As winter break comes to an end for Central Texas schools -- concern shifts to the rising COVID-19 cases.
The Waco Independent School District is trying to stay ahead of the game by offering free COVID-19 testing for all Waco ISD staff and students.
The drive-thru testing site is in the visitors parking lot of the Waco ISD Stadium at 1401 S. New Road. Those getting tested should enter the stadium parking lot on the New Road sign to get in line.
A district health services employee tells 6 News the free testing is now being offered after the long break and because of recent uptick in cases. The employee says this is similar to what they've done previously.
Here is the testing schedule for this week:
Sunday, January 2nd from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Monday, January 3rd from 8: 00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 4th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The health services employee says the COVID-19 test is a PCR test and that's what will be used until further notice. The district partnered up with Achieve Health Management to buy several thousand tests and to offer the drive-thru testing. 6 News is told the district is planning to offer the free service for the next couple of weeks or depending on necessity.
Waco ISD officials are recommending testing for anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 or has had symptoms in the last two weeks to help keep classrooms safe.
As people flip the calendars to a new year -- school districts are ready to welcome students and staff back on campus, but in a world of covid-19 -- there is some concern to make sure schools to stay open and safe.
Dr. Dominic Lucia, chief medical officer of McLane Children's Hospital, says it needs to be a fight against all viruses as schools reopen.
"Of course we're worried as we go in in a high infectious zone time and you're going to have kids around each other a lot more," he said. "Not just for COVID but for flu, metapneumovirus -- those things are already spreading through the holidays and they're going to spread probably fairly rapidly once kids get back together."
Lucia says COVID-19 and flu cases are on the rise amongst kids.
"We have to maintain our vigilance on all fronts," he said. "When we get back to school let's just be sensible about it. Get vaccinated, wash our hands, wear masks for indoors, all the smart things and we'll get through it together."