Willmar Public Schools provides free at-home test kits for students
Willmar Public Schools students are eligible to receive a test kit with two at-home rapid tests, thanks to a grant from the state. Tests were distributed earlier this week, and parents can still pick up tests at the Willmar Education and Arts Center on Friday.
WILLMAR — Willmar Public Schools students and their families have been able to pick up free at-home COVID-19 tests this week.
The kits were provided through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health and Department of Education.
Each Willmar Public Schools student in grades K-12 is eligible to receive a free kit containing two antigen tests. The kits were distributed to parents Wednesday and Thursday at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, and will be available again Friday.
The kits could be used at home for any family member. The tests are to be used along with the internet or a compatible smart device, with results available in 15 minutes.
Parents who went to the Willmar Education and Arts Center on Wednesday and Thursday filled out information with their children’s names and ages on an iPad. The information went to computers on a table where Jena Tollefson of the district’s Human Resources Department and Patti Johnson, head nurse for the district and the district’s health and wellness coordinator, waited to hand out tests.
The tests contained directions in English, and stacks of directions in Spanish and Somali were available on the table.
Signs on the table warned parents not to leave the tests in the car, because they are not supposed to get cold.
Maria Benitez of Willmar said as she filled out the iPad form for her three children that the tests would be helpful for her family.
As they waited, parents talked about how difficult it has been to find home tests in stores recently.
The district also provides free testing for staff members who want it before school each school day.