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East Palestine schools to test athletes, staff for coronavirus

EAST PALESTINE – Taking a similar approach to some school districts in the county, East Palestine will host QUICKmed to perform COVID-19 testing for student athletes and all staff in the high school gym on Wednesday.

Last week, the Columbiana district hosted QUICKmed, which performed nasal swabs and antibody testing.

From 8 a.m. to noon, East Palestine teachers will have the opportunity to be tested. Then, from 1 to 5 p.m., students going into grade 7-12 who will be participating in sports will be able to get COVID-19 testing and sports physicals for the upcoming athletic seasons.  

The cost for a physical is $20, but the fee will be waived if the COVID-19 test is taken. Students are able to have one adult with them for the testing, and that adult may also be tested.

While the COVID-19 test is not mandatory for anyone, Superintendent Chris Neifer wanted to provide an opportunity to get physicals for those students who have had a difficult time getting to their doctors.

“Every year we typically provide that opportunity, but this year we weren’t able to with schools being closed,” Neifer said. “So, this is just a matter of replacing what we would typically do during the spring for our kids.”

In order to register, those who wish to participate must submit a sign-up request form and fill out consent, new patient registration and OHSAA sports physical forms, which can be found at the school district website.  

“We just want to provide those opportunities,” Neifer said. “We understand that it’s difficult to get to the doctor right now. We certainly want to do everything in our power to keep our teachers and kids safe. Right now, one of the medical things is that testing piece.”

The service by QUICKmed comes at no cost to the district, and the results of the 10-minute COVID-19 test take about 48 hours to come back.

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