RCSD Students Offered COVID-19 Rapid Tests



Here is an example of one of the at-home COVID-19 test kits

Cameron Cassano, Writer

In response to the recent pandemic, Rhinebeck Central Schools has offered every student two free COVID-19 tests.

Superintendent Albert Cousins told Rhinebeck Reality that he wanted students to take these tests BEFORE returning to school after winter break. He was worried about all of these students coming back into school without knowing they might have the virus.

After sending communication home, he told Rhinebeck families they were offering pickup on the Sunday before school started January 3.

“I was moved by the very long and constant lines of vehicles. Our early assessment indicates that we distributed 600 test kits – a total of 1200 tests!” said Cousins.

Cousins wished to thank Asst. Superintendent Tom Burnell and Secretary to the Superintendent Whitney Druker for their help in distributing the tests to our community in the cold drizzle.

Over winter break, some students and families took that time to relax and go on vacation. They went into airports, and some went to places with high Covid rates. 

Unfortunately, during this time the Omicron variant started to spread like wildfire.

Covid rates are increasing to an all time high.  According to The New York Times Coronavirus tracking graphs, Duchess County has a very high test positivity rate. The number of cases has had a 99% increase from the average of two weeks ago, before winter break. 

Our school wanted to step in and make sure that any student who needed a COVID-19 rapid test could have one.

Out of the 940 rapid test kits our school received, 725 have already been picked up by students/families as of 1/5/22.

According to current CDC guidance, students can now come back into the school building after 5 days of isolation and quarantine.

This decision has been scrutinized by some who wonder if 5 days is enough time to get the virus out of your system. People are still testing positive after 5+ days according to the Miami Herald.

Students and families should continue to play it safe and take advantage of the Covid precautions our school district is taking.