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South Florida businesses partner to offer free coronavirus testing for teachers

Teledactyl, JFI Medical, BusOne, United Clinical Laboratory provide free mobile testing Thursday
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Posted at 1:28 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 18:00:35-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — A group of area businesses partnered together on Thursday to provide free COVID-19 testing for teachers in Wellington.

For veteran educator Kitty Williams, this was one test she couldn’t prepare for.

"This is not an experience I would of ever thought I would have to offer to my children," Williams said.

However, for Williams, this COVID-19 test was the first step to feeling safe in the classroom. She's the director of The Children's House in Wellington which opened back up to students in early August.

"I’m older, so I’ve had to take every precaution necessary to stay with my babies," Williams said.

Thursday was also a first for Teledactyl, JFI Medical, BusOne, and United Clinical Laboratory. All four came together Thursday to provide free mobile testing for teachers outside Binks Forest Elementary School in Wellington.

"Doing serial testing and being able to track it correctly could actually solve the problem," said Alan Bottorff, the co-founder of Teledactyl.

In partnership with All Health Matters, the group was able to provide up to 200 free COVID-19 tests outside of the school.

"The collection time takes about two to three minutes, and after we take it to the lab we can make these test results in 24 hours," said Luisa Bonilla, the manager at United Clinical Laborator.

"The testing has to be in serial function because the more testing you do, the more you can monitor the viral load and then when actually know when someone is ready to transmit," said Brian Coleman, the CEO of JFI Medical.

The newly formed group is hoping this can become a model for testing and tracing the virus.

"The challenges with serial testing is the financial piece," said Coleman.

Bottorff added that right now, one test can cost $250 dollars. He said more testing would cut down on the cost.

As for Williams, she said you can’t put a price on peace of mind.

"A teacher could be sick and not know, but this way we get a quick test and we know that our teachers are healthy," Williams said.