AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin ISD hosted free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing Monday morning for families and staff who live in six Austin ZIP codes considered hotspots.
The district used rapid tests Monday to focus on delivering quick results so families could make informed decisions before returning to school, AISD said. Families living in these six ZIP codes were invited to register for a free test: 78744, 78741, 78745, 78748, 78753 and 78758.
Anyone who’s symptomatic needs a non-rapid PCR test to come back to campus, AISD said. The district says it plans to use seating charts this year to identify and isolate positive cases on campuses.
On Monday morning, AISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde explained why testing is so important to the school district.
“We have had a drop in enrollment, which then also means a drop in attendance, because if you don’t have the same number of students, then the revenue that you generate to pay your staff is reduced,” Elizalde said.
Austin ISD enrollment dropped by around 10,000 students during the 2020-21 school year, falling from 80,000 to 70,000 students. AISD is projecting around 75,000 students for the 2021-22 school year, but hopes the number is closer to 77,000 students.
Testing was held at Blazier, Cunningham, Allison and Wooldridge elementary schools.