The Kirby Foundation and Local Supporters Ensure Reliable, Accessible Testing
The Kirby COVID-19 school testing program plays a vital role in keeping
communities strong and healthy.
As school administrators struggled to keep students showing single coronavirus
symptoms in the classroom this past year, Kirby Medical Center decided
to lead a community effort to provide free rapid COVID-19 testing.
This initiative allowed students and faculty at Argenta-Oreana, Atwood-Hammond-Arthur-Lovington,
Bement, Blue Ridge, Cerro Gordo, Deland-Weldon and Monticello school districts
to receive test results in 24 hours or less. Quick testing kept communities
thriving and healthy by dramatically reducing unnecessary quarantine time,
keeping students and staff in the classroom and allowing parents to remain
at work. Thanks to the generosity of Kirby Medical Center, community members,
area businesses and school district foundations, The Kirby Foundation
was able to support this testing program throughout the entire 2020-2021
“The Kirby Rapid Testing Program was integral in keeping our students
and staff in school this year. Without this program, our students/staff
would have been out of school for 3-6 days while waiting for testing results,
over 95% of which have come back negative. Additionally, the convenience
of local testing made it easy for parents and students. They did not have
to go out of town for testing. Kirby continues to be an excellent partner
with our schools, and we look forward to continuing our positive relationship
in the future,” says Dr. Vic Zimmerman, Superintendent of the Monticello
Testing resources were invaluable to students, staff, parents, businesses
and local communities.
All school districts involved in the program worked together to keep testing
accessible and running smoothly – to ensure students were able to
receive the best education possible. As of April 30, 2021, 3,417 tests
had been conducted (379 staff tests and 3,038 student tests), averaging
131 tests per week. An estimated 19,476 school and work days have been saved.
“The opportunity to have our staff and students tested for COVID-19
through Kirby has contributed greatly to our ability to maintain in-person
learning for the entire 2020-2021 school year. Our students and staff
have been able to access testing and receive results through a very convenient
and rapid process, which has allowed those who tested negative to return
to school in a timely manner. The communities that Arthur CUSD #305 serves
express a sincere thanks,” says Shannon Cheek, Superintendent of
the Arthur CUSD #305.
“Supporters have given nearly $75,000 to this initiative during the
school year. The Kirby Foundation and Kirby Medical Center are humbled
by the support and contributions from the community to keep our communities
strong and safe,” says Kirby Medical Center CEO Steve Tenhouse.