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North Texas schools prepare to launch rapid COVID-19 testing program, but not all districts are taking part

Several schools closed because of COVID-19 spread this week.

D-FW school districts are preparing to launch rapid COVID-19 testing for students as rising cases forced several schools to close.

This week, Sanger High School closed for two days for deep cleaning following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Due to spike in Alvord Independent School District, 5th graders will now learn remotely until at least Nov 16.

COVID-19 also spread at Independence Elementary in Keller Independent School District, so the district is shifting students to remote learning for at least five days starting Friday. 

The rise in cases comes as several school districts in the area prepare to launch a rapid testing program through the TEA’s optional COVID-19 rapid testing program for grades K-12.

Schools enrolled in the program will receive PPE and rapid COVID-19 tests, which the TEA says, produce results in 15 minutes. 

Some of the area’s largest districts like Dallas ISD, Arlington ISD and Fort Worth ISD are participating.  

RELATED: Dallas ISD receives 15,000 new rapid tests from state officials to help stop spread of COVID-19 

A spokesperson for Dallas ISD told WFAA the program is expected to launch in two weeks, with an initial focus on student-athletes at a single location. 

Arlington and Fort Worth ISDs told WFAA it’s too soon to provide details on the process. 

Some notable large districts that are not included: Frisco, Plan, Allen and McKinney ISDs.  

Frisco ISD chose not to participate so as to not take up the limited supply, according to Megan Cone, assistant communications director for the department. 

“FISD is fortunate that there is ample access to COVID-19 testing, including rapid testing, within our community,” Cone said. “Many Frisco ISD students and staff are utilizing the free saliva testing site operating in Frisco, which is funded by the Texas Division of Emergency Management and has additional testing capacity that is not currently being utilized.” 

Keller ISD is another district not listed as participating in the program. As previously mentioned, it's closing one of its elementary schools because of COVID-19 spread. Emails to the district for comment were not answered.

More than 300 districts opted into the rapid testing program.