Homewood School District Hosts Free Testing Before Back To School

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HOMEWOOD, IL — An elementary school district in Homewood held free COVID-19 testing for students and staff before the first day back to school in light of a recent case surge across the south suburbs.

District No. 153 officials conducted testing on Monday before the district's Tuesday start date. According to a social media post, the tests were supplied by SHIELD Illinois, a program through the University of Illinois which administers saliva-based COVID-19 tests to K-12 schools in the state.

Testing was only available for students who had previously opted into the SHIELD program. Family members and students who were not previously tested were not allowed join in due to the district's short timeline and need for quick turnaround, a spokeswoman for the school told Patch.

"We hope to have the results back before school begins on Tuesday morning but that is out of our control," a spokeswoman said in a statement. "We will call only if there is a positive result."

As of Tuesday, officials from the district did not have a final number of students who tested positive. If a student tested positive during the Jan. 3 test day, they would not be allowed to return to class until Friday, Jan. 14 as the school followed state health quarantine guidelines.

This article originally appeared on the Homewood-Flossmoor Patch

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