RISD official Brenda Payne explained the plan for the rapid tests at a Nov. 2 board meeting. Photo courtesy Richardson ISD

In the coming weeks, Richardson ISD will receive over 15,000 rapid COVID-19 tests to distribute to campuses.

The district was recently approved to receive 15,640 rapid tests monthly from the Texas Education Agency, said Brenda Payne, RISD Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services at a Nov. 2 board meeting. 

“Each month, we will have these tests delivered to us,” Payne said at the meeting. “They will then be delivered to the campuses. TEA is helping us to determine, based on the number of positive cases throughout that community, how many tests each campus will receive.”

As an example, Payne said a high school could receive 800 tests while a smaller campus may receive 89. The tests come at no cost to RISD, she said.

Students and staff opting to be tested can expect to receive results in 15 minutes. The test involves a nasal swab in both nostrils.

Payne said the rate of sensitivity for a true positive is 97.1% and the rate of specificity for a true negative is 98.5%.

“This is by no means mandatory,” she said of the rapid tests. “Everything will be voluntary.”

The district’s exact plan of who will be tested will be communicated soon, Payne said. The tests are expected to arrive at RISD in two or three weeks.