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Testing available for St. Clairsville rec center

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — With the ongoing local surge of COVID-19 cases among young people, the St. Clairsville-Richland City School District and the city recreation center are working together to make rapid test kits available to area youth.

St. Clairsville Mayor Kathryn Thalman said this is an added layer of protection.

“The parent can administer a rapid test — it’s ready in 15 minutes — to make sure if their child should be quarantined, they’re not exposing anyone else,” Thalman said. “That’s going to be an added step in the protocol down at the rec center. If their child is supposed to be quarantined by the school, they are not to be playing sports at the rec center, and if a child comes in sniffling or sick, we’re going to ask the parent to take a rapid test, administer it to that child … to make sure that child is not COVID-positive. We want to make sure everyone has a very fun experience and a very safe experience. We are doing as much as we possibly can to ensure safety while kids participate in flag football.”

She commended the school district for providing quality tests kits.

“We have rapid tests, but what the school has is a newer version,” she said, adding the swabs are not so deep or intrusive. About 25 tests will be provided to the rec center, and some tests will also be given to the city building.

“Hopefully the health department will be getting more in and we could access them, but we’re doing the best we can with what we have. Right now, we have enough,” Thalman said. “I’m hoping the health department can get them to us, because ultimately we’re trying to do the same thing as the health department, and that’s keep everyone safe.”

Thalman added that flag football started on Sunday.

“We had 200 kids signed up, and I am all about safety first, so I want to make sure that if anybody is in doubt or thinks they might be positive or exposed to COVID, their parent can administer the rapid test there. … If they’re positive, ‘You get outta here!’ But if they’re quarantined by the school, they’re not to play either.

“The rec department sees a lot of kids. They come down for basketball and we started flag football,” Thalman said.

“We had extra tests, and anytime we can help out the city in any way we can, we’re going to do that,” St. Clairsville-Richland City Schools Superintendent Walt Skaggs said, adding the district was able to provide the kits without impacting its testing capabilities.

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