(Jefferson City)–Rapid COVID-19 tests have been delivered to about 290 Missouri K-12 public and private schools. State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Spokesperson Mallory McGowin says an initial shipment of the BinaxNOW antigen tests have been distributed to them – for good reason.

According to department data, another 35 schools are awaiting a shipment of the tests. Education leaders hope the kits will help to determine whether staff can work on any given day. Missouri has dealt with a teacher shortage for many years and COVID-19 has made the problem worse.