Colorado Teachers Fight Back-To-School Jitters With Rapid At-Home COVID Tests

Lindsay Woods a second grade teacher at Thornton Elementary in Adams 12 School District was among a handful of educators who had her kit hand delivered to her home by Gov. Jared Polis.

Colorado is adding a new tool they hope will help slow COVID-19 numbers as students and teachers return to in-person learning. Teachers across the state will now have access to weekly at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits.

She says even with the addition of pandemic protocols inside the classroom, returning to in-person learning can bring its own anxiety.

“We care so much about our kids. That’s the biggest worry for me is I don’t want to get my kids sick or anyone in their family sick,” she said.

The kits she says come with multiple tests so she can take one every five days. She took the first one shortly after it was delivered.

“It’s really simple give a little swab, put a couple of drops on and twist it in here and let it rest. The results kind of look like a pregnancy test. The one line means I’m negative. If there were two I would be positive,” she said.

Colorado is one of just three states chosen to partner with Abbot BinaxNow and Emed to get more of the rapid tests. The state purchased two million of them to be delivered to schools, their staff and some students.

The goal is to have access to easy, more frequent testing with results that don’t take days to get back, but instead are returned within 15 minutes.

“You have the ability to test yourself at home and really feel you are being responsible and taking the safety of your school and students in your own hands which is not something we have felt for a while,” Woods said.

Until teachers are fully vaccinated, Woods says this helps ease any back-to-school jitters she may have been feeling.

“I feel ready to go into the school, and I don’t have any worry or anxiety about that,” she said.

According to a release from the governor’s office the state is working to ensure the kits will be delivered directly to the homes of teachers, staff and selected students from hundreds of participating public and private schools across the state.

They will also use a partnership with Amazon storing the kits in Amazon’s Denver fulfillment center and using the company to help set up a system for requesting and delivering the tests.

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