PARKER, Colo. — While Colorado educators wait for their vaccination appointments, Governor Polis is hoping to deliver peace of mind to their doors.
Earlier this month, Polis announced a program to provide at-home COVID-19 tests for teachers across the state. Districts and private schools were given the option to participate.
Douglas County School District RE-1 decided to give their educators the option. Sixth grade math teacher Doug Shults got his month's worth of tests delivered to him by Governor Polis last week.
"I think as a teacher we want to be there, we want to be in the classroom," Shults said. "We want to help the kids learn and grow and to have this extra little precautionary measure, it’s helpful."
Each month, a teacher who has opted into the program would receive six kits in one delivery. They're suggested to test once every five days.
The test is self administered, but a health care worker virtually guides the person through the process and records the results.
"Of course we are reporting those results to state, federal and local health officials," said Dr. Patrice Harris, CEO of eMed, the virtual healthcare provider helping administer the kits.
The state purchased the first two million kits for the first month but is working on a cost-share agreement with the schools that opt into the program. The governor's office said that cost could potentially be reimbursed by the federal government.
"It gives me a chance to know that I'm not making anyone else sick," Anthony Martinez, the interim principal of Prairie Winds Elementary School, said.
"I think the vaccine is going to be the impetus of getting all kids back to school, but this does tell us in-between what’s happening with COVID with ourselves personally," he added.
The governor's office is working to make the tests available through the end of the year for the districts and private schools that opt into the program.
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