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Leon County Schools teams with TMH, FSU for speedy COVID-19 testing of staff

Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 18:18:23-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County Schools is finalizing its procedure in case staff are exposed to the coronavirus, changing the quarantine policy from 14 days to three for any employee who feels they might have been exposed.

There are a few different options for a COVID-19 test in Tallahassee, but in some cases, it can take up to 10 days to get your results back.

LCS is teaming up with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and Florida State so COVID-19 doesn't impact classwork.

Next week, through a partnership with TMH, LCS will set up a testing site for employees at Lively Technical College. Instead of waiting up to a week in some cases, employees should have their results back in about 72 hours.

Christen Ellrich says she's busy getting ready for Monday.

"I know a lot of our teachers are nervous right now," Ellrich. "I just don't have the mental space to be nervous right now."

She's been teaching for about nine years.

While this year is definitely a different one, it doesn't mean Ellrich is any less excited to get back to her kids at Griffin.

That's why she supports LCS's new three-day quarantine policy for teachers exposed to COVID-19.

"We as teachers need and want to get back in our classroom," Ellrich said. "And if we can get back in our classroom with quick test results I'm all for it."

"It would have a chilling effect on our school system if we have employees out for two weeks so it will be a game-changer," said Rocky Hanna, the superintendent for LCS. "I'm really excited and appreciative of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and Florida State University for bringing this technology to us."

When teachers have to be out, Hanna says LCS has about 250 substitutes on standby ready to help where needed.