Helping reduce case numbers in schools

Millard West offers COVID testing for students and staff


Tenley Wright

Senior Owen Hamill receives his COVID-19 test in the lecture hall on Friday, January 29. Medical professionals from Test Nebraska set up shop in the lecture hall and administered tests to students and staff.

Tenley Wright, Chief Photographer

Millard West offered free COVID-19 testing for students and staff in an attempt to help lower the number of cases and quarantines. Testing took place in the lecture hall on Friday, Jan. 29 and Tuesday, Feb. 2. 

Medical professionals from Test Nebraska set up a testing site in the new wing from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and students were invited down to get tested by grade level. Those who signed up beforehand were quickly checked in and given a rundown of the procedure. For students and staff who hadn’t registered before arriving, a member of the Test Nebraska team was available to help them navigate through the sign up page.

“We are doing a PRC test, which is very sensitive to picking up the COVID virus,”  Medical Professional Erik Torres said. “We’re not doing nasopharyngeal for this school system, we’re actually doing a mid turbinant, which is not as far back. It’s a little bit easier for us to administer, and it’s more comfortable for faculty and students.”

Test Nebraska recently partnered with the Department of Education to carry out testing in multiple public schools throughout the state. 

Currently, Millard West has eight active COVID-19 cases, the most out of any district building. Millard Public Schools has 59 active reported cases and 105 district members in quarantine. These numbers are significantly lower than they have been in previous months, and the district is hoping to continue that downward trend with the enforcement of rules and regulations. The testing serves as an extra measure, helping ensure that students and staff are safe and healthy. 

Those who signed up to get tested are helping doing what they can to lower case numbers, keeping those around them safe.

“I like to do my part to make sure that we’re stopping the virus and flattening the curve,” senior Owen Hamill said. “If I have COVID I want to know so that I’m not infecting other people. I think it’s extremely important because, even if you don’t know if you’ve been exposed or not, you could still be infecting other people, and I think it’s part of your civil duty to come in and make sure you’re protecting other people’s safety.”

After being tested, students and staff were told they would receive their results via email within 72 hours or less. 

“I think, if you’re on the fence you should heavily consider getting tested just to do your part to make sure we’re flattening the curve,” Hamill said. “It’s pretty easy, and it’s not that painful.”

Students and staff are being encouraged to get tested and follow safety measures in order to keep the school virus free.