Richmond schools get 8,000 home COVID-19 tests, mask supply ahead of student return

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Students and staff across Richmond Public Schools can pick up rapid home COVID tests before coming back to school buildings on Monday. The school district will be distributing their supply of 8,000 tests on Sunday.

The school district announced on Thursday that they had worked with the Virginia Department of Health to acquire the tests.

Families and staff members must pick up the tests. They will be distributed Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Thomas H. Henderson Middle at 4319 Old Brook Road
  • Broad Rock Elementary at 4615 Ferguson Lane
  • Cardinal Elementary at 1745 Catalina Drive
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle at 1000 Mosby Street

In order to receive a test, families must provide their student’s name, date of birth and school they attend. Staff members must show their RPS identification. Tests will be handed out until they run out.

The intention is for members of the RPS community to take the rapid tests before returning to school on Monday.

“Our students need us to stay open — perhaps now more than ever.” said Superintendent Jason Kamras, “Yet, in the face of Omicron, we must make every effort to provide a safe and healthy environment for our students and staff to return to school.” 

The school district is taking other precautions to prevent the spread of the virus including mask distribution. Richmond schools received 25,000 KN95 masks that will be given to students and staff.

People will continue to be able to get vaccinated at schools across the city.

Earlier this year, the school district implemented a vaccine mandate for staff but eventually revoked that requirement due to staffing shortages. Staff who are not vaccinated will be tested weekly for COVID-19.

The state’s vaccine coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said, “We have the resources available to us to help our kids stay safe from COVID-19 while in the classroom. Testing, alongside vaccination and staying home when you’re sick, can help keep transmission in schools low.”

According to a release from Richmond Public Schools, the school district is one of the first in Virginia to take these extra virus mitigation steps.

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