Rapid testing for COVID-19 now available at all campuses, central office

To assist with ongoing efforts to support public health and safety, the Houston Independent School District is offering COVID-19 BinaxNOW Rapid Tests at all campuses and its central office.

The district has been provided with testing resources to test campus-based staff, district administrators, and a percentage of students (with permission from parents) through a statewide COVID-19 Rapid Testing program implemented in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The tests will be optional, but all staff who work on a campus are encouraged to participate in the program.

In December, HISD successfully piloted the program by screening asymptomatic staff at three different campuses – Dogan Elementary School, Baylor College of Medicine Biotech at Rusk, and Austin High School. Campus nurses have received the necessary training to administer the tests, and testing kits are being delivered to all 281 HISD campuses. The district will not charge a fee to administer the tests, require participation in the program, or distribute tests for non-school or non-educational use.

The COVID-19 Rapid Testing pilot program will use BinaxNOW tests, which provide results in 15 minutes and are self-administered using a shallow nasal swab in the front area of the nostril. The BinaxNOW tests have been shown to be highly accurate, with accuracy rates of 97-98% for asymptomatic individuals. The BinaxNOW Rapid Test Demo video (1 minute) outlines the process.

Parents will be notified by their campus about how to provide permission for their child to receive COVID-19 Rapid Testing. Additional information:

  • Results are available in 15 minutes with individuals (or parents) receiving their test results via text or email within two hours of being tested.
  • Tests are shown to have a 98% accuracy rate for symptomatic individuals.
  • Tests will be available to all students (with permission from parents) who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who were in close contact of those who test positive.
  • Results are shared with the school, the district, and with the local health department to allow for public health reporting and contact tracing.

HISD also is providing free BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid testing to asymptomatic district Central Office employees on Tuesday, January 26 and Wednesday, January 27.

In addition to efforts to assist public health and contact tracing, results will be used to determine the stay-at-home period for individuals who test positive. Additionally, the total number of positive tests will be shared with the Texas Department of State Health Services, as is required by law.

For any questions or concerns, employees can reach out to their supervisor or the Health and Medical Department at 713-556-7280. The schedule for central office testing is below:

Testing Dates January 26 & 27
Testing Location Delmar Field House (Use main entrance to enter for testing)
Who Can Test Asymptomatic staff members
*Any staff member exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their supervisor immediately and leave the building.
Tuesday, January 26
Finance 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Academics 10:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m.
Strategy & Innovation 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Technology 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 27
Police 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Area Offices, Communications, Legal, Chief of Staff, H.R. 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Facilities, Nutrition, and Transportation 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

All individuals that would like to be tested must register their information here
Important Notes:

  • Leave personal ID number blank
  • Complete all other fields
  • Confirm correct birthday in the correct format with the year entered first (YYYY/MM/DD) – If birthday is inputted incorrectly, you won’t be able to access your results.
  • Use your personal phone number (results are texted)
  • Screenshot or print QR code that is generated upon completion

*Please bring the generated QR code when you come to test

Retrieving Results
  • You will receive a link to your results by email and text within two to three hours after testing
  • You will need the birthdate you entered when registering for the test