Walton Schools introduces rapid COVID testing for students and staff

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WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Walton officials are teaming together to bring more rapid COVID testing to students and staff starting Tuesday.

Since the beginning of school in August, over one thousand have been in quarantine but the school district wants to help students return.

“Safety and education that’s what we are about,’ said Walton County School Superintendent Russell Hughes.

Hughes has received feedback about COVID rapid testing being limited or overly expensive in the county. After working with the Walton Health Department and Emergency Management the school district has opened their own testing just for students and staff starting Tuesday.

“We know that we are in a health crisis in our community so they can’t get to these testing sites, they can’t get to their pediatrician, they can’t get to their physicians,” said Hughes. “So we brought it to them.”

There are going to be four testing sites at Paxton High School, Walton County High School, and one in South Walton High.

“No appointments necessary,” said School Safety Specialist Charlie Morses. “It’s set up so you can just walk up, they have a table where they will take your information, and once that’s complete they will give you a little ticket, you will take that over and get swabbed and take the ticket. Then hopefully within 15 minutes, you will receive an email to know if you’re positive or negative.”

This gives students a chance to return to school on the fifth day if they test negative after quarantining for four days. School leaders said they have recorded the lowest quarantine numbers since August 10.

“Walton County being an epic school district, we are going to make sure that we are solution-driven,” said Hughes.

COVID testing sites will be open five days a week right after school hours at those following locations, all for free.

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