BinaxNOW COVID testing begins at Lemont High School


Emily Galassi

BinaxNOW is an oral COVID-19 test used by nurse Katie Dulle on students and faculty.

Caroline Vranas and Emily Galassi

Lemont High School has begun using BinaxNOW, a SHIELD (oral) COVID-19 test on students and faculty. 

Tony Hamilton, Director of School and Community Relations, explains the new testing process. “The BinaxNow testing that we’re going to be using, I believe right now is primarily going to be utilized with faculty and staff who are not yet fully vaccinated,” said Hamilton.

Rather than the testing being focused on the students, it will be focused on unvaccinated teachers and staff. By the order of Governor Pritzker, educators can remain unvaccinated, but must routinely be tested for COVID-19. 

Hamilton said, “We’re approaching 85% of faculty and staff are fully vaccinated, and when I say faculty and staff, I don’t just mean the teachers and the administrators and the (educators), . . . we’re now throwing a big wide net around (faculty), so that’s almost 300 (educators), and we’re about 85% (fully vaccinated).”

BinaxNOW will also be available for students who show possible symptoms of COVID-19, or were in close contact with students who showed symptoms. Consent forms were sent out to all students for their parents to sign, or to sign themselves if 18 or older. 

“We may have had 20% of our students whose parents have filled it out, and if they don’t want to fill it out they don’t have to,” said Hamilton.

BinaxNOW will be administered by the school nurse and other qualified faculty members. 

BinaxNOW COVID testing has begun at Lemont High School