BinaxNOW Coming to District 41

D41 to add Abbott BinaxNOW diagnostic test starting Jan. 18

Introducing Abbott BinaxNOW Diagnostic Testing Coming to District 41

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In addition to the COVID-19 Surveillance Saliva Screening currently being offered to in-person students and staff, District 41 will add the Abbott BinaxNOW diagnostic test to the district’s mitigation efforts.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, due to wide-ranging symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection and the frequency with which children are likely to display one or more of these symptoms, rapid point of care (POC) tests may be useful diagnostic tools for testing persons in the early stages of infection with SARS-CoV-2 when viral load is generally highest. The benefit of rapid POC tests in schools and other community settings is that the results may be used to expedite isolation and quarantine requirements and to inform infection prevention and control measures, thus preventing transmission.

District 41 has become CLIA certified through the Illinois Department of Public Health and was able to secure an initial inventory of 500 BinaxNOW tests through the DuPage County Health Department at no cost to the District. In order to administer BinaxNOW tests, the District is required to develop implementation protocols for the program, which were approved by the Board of Education on December 14, 2020. (Click here for the Board of Education report.) In addition, the DuPage County Health Department also provided District 41 with a very generous amount of PPE including gloves, gowns, masks, face shields, goggles and hand sanitizer that will go far to help us sustain the BinaxNow testing.

A nurse practitioner on staff in District 41 will administer the test to both students and staff who qualify in a drive-up format at the primary testing location, Churchill Elementary School, 240 Geneva Road. The test procedure involves a swab of the front of both nostrils and results are made available in 15 minutes from the time of the test.

Here is a link to a video of the swabbing procedure

The District will offer the diagnostic BinaxNOW test…

  • For a student or staff on quarantine because spouse, child, parent, sibling, or any other family member/close contact to them tests positive so they can go into isolation status of 10 days if they test positive. Please note that no one is able to test out of quarantine with a negative test in this situation. This is only to identify additional positive cases with close contacts that could test into isolation status, rather than wait out a 14 day quarantine.

  • For any asymptomatic student or staff that are unable to understand/physically cannot provide a saliva sample for the Safeguard test, but want to participate in screening.

  • As a second weekly screening test, in addition to the Safeguard saliva test, for staff who must work within 6-foot distance for longer than 15 minutes due to student need or have higher exposure risk due to the nature of their work in our schools (custodians, school nurses, CNA’s, therapists, etc.).

  • As a second weekly screening test, in addition to the Safeguard saliva test, for staff or students who are medically at higher risk or have someone living with them at home that is medically high risk.

  • To test asymptomatic individuals when there is an outbreak declared to identify additional positives.

  • To diagnose students or staff that become symptomatic while at school. Symptomatic students/staff would be isolated and sent home per the current protocol, but could make an appointment for a test.

Please email the District Nurse Supervisor for BinaxNOW Testing, Katie Adduci, if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to make an appointment for testing if you meet the criteria listed above: The BinaxNOW screening test will be available to in person students and staff starting the week of January 18. Depending on the volume of tests used/appointments requested, we may be able to make the test available to all staff and students. We will let our families know if we are able to open up BinaxNOW to everyone based on our supply of 500 tests.

After emailing Katie, there will be a secure form emailed back to you with questions that help assess appropriateness of this test and differentiate the diagnostic criteria of asymptomatic, asymptomatic with exposure/high suspicion, or symptomatic. Some results of the BinaxNOW test will require a follow-up PCR test in 2 days. You will be made aware of this prior to making an appointment so that you may make the best choice for yourself or your student. An appointment will then be made and a consent will be signed at the time of your appointment. The test will be administered in your car at Churchill school and you will wait 15 minutes post-test in your car to receive your results.

The BinaxNOW rapid antigen test will be considered and offered as an additional mitigation tool to expedite isolation and quarantine in the many ongoing efforts to keep our D41 community and their families as safe as possible while attending and working in our school buildings. This test does not replace the need for close contact and the advice of your own primary medical provider if you have any exposure, symptoms, or concerns.