Portville Central Schools is using one of its school buses to offer COVID-19 testing to its students, staff, and their families. The school bus was initially scheduled for conversion to a mobile video lab. - File photo

Portville Central Schools is using one of its school buses to offer COVID-19 testing to its students, staff, and their families. The school bus was initially scheduled for conversion to a mobile video lab.

File photo

In an effort to keep its students and community safe, Portville (N.Y.) Central Schools is using one of its school buses as a COVID-19 testing lab, the Olean Times Herald reports.

The school bus, which was initially scheduled for conversion to a mobile video lab, will now be stationed in the district’s parking lot as a COVID testing site, according to the newspaper. The BinaxNow rapid COVID-19 tests will be free to both the school and the person receiving it and will be administered without the need to enter a building, simply by driving up to the bus, the Olean Times Herald reports.

Onsite testing at Portville Central Schools was approved during the holiday break after the district’s board of education applied for a “limited service laboratory registration” from the New York State Department of Health, according to the newspaper.

The district announced on its Facebook page on Sunday that testing would be available “for students, faculty, staff, and members of their household,” and that “individuals wanting to be tested should either be symptomatic or be a direct contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.”

Thomas Simon, Portville Central Schools superintendent, told the Olean Times Herald that the district hopes it can “help prevent the spread of the disease, in part by helping people know if they have it.” The school district’s administration also said it wants to ensure testing to keep both elementary and high school students on campus.

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