Harlandale expanding COVID-19 testing to all campuses, officials say

District expanding partnership with Community Labs to include elementary schools

Harlandale ISD changes course on MLK holiday, adds extra school day instead

SAN ANTONIO – Harlandale Independent School District announced on Tuesday that officials will be expanding COVID-19 testing to all district campuses beginning on Jan. 26.

According to district officials, all elementary in-person students and staff will be able to get tested for COVID-19 as part of the expansion.

The district is continuing to work with Community Labs, a local nonprofit organization, to administer the COVID-19 tests.

According to Community Labs officials, the organization’s testing is done in a 24-hour turnaround time with 95% accuracy and is “less invasive by swabbing in the front of the nostril.”

Gerardo Soto, superintendent of schools at Harlendale ISD, said the move to expand to more testing was done to slow the virus’ spread within the district.

“By providing this service and expanding it to all of our campuses, we are being proactive in identifying those students or staff members who might be asymptomatic and ultimately helping us keep COVID-19 from spreading within our district,” Soto said. “We hope that this will continue to give some peace of mind to our students, parents and staff.”

According to a district statement, parents will have to fill out a consent form in order for their students to be tested on a weekly basis.

Additionally, the district said that testing of all students in extracurricular activities will continue.

Soto said the screening process is a step in the right direction for the district and a return to “normal.”

“I know we all are looking forward to returning to a new sense of normal,” Soto said. “I am confident this screening process is a step in the right direction to help our students and teachers return to a classroom with students learning with their teachers by their side.”

Related: Northside ISD urges virtual learning for students due to COVID-19 surge


About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.