HIDALGO — DHR Health donated eight medical beds to Hidalgo ISD to help the school district maintain its proactive approach to COVID-19 testing by placing students in isolation rooms once they test positive.

Jennifer Garza, director for public relations at Hidalgo ISD, oversees COVID testing for the district and said the partnership began when she told the superintendent that they were going to need separate medical beds for the isolation rooms.

“We noticed that some of our staff and our students are testing positive and we really need to set up these isolation rooms because we want them to be isolated but we also want them to be comfortable, because they either have to wait to be picked up by a parent or they are waiting for testing results as well,” Garza said. “So we knew that there was a need for them.”

She said the goal was to have the students who are potentially COVID positive to be isolated from kids who are at the nurse’s office for routine visits.

The eight beds will be distributed between the district’s four elementary schools with two at each of its secondary schools.

Xavier Salinas, superintendent for Hidalgo ISD said he appreciates the help from DHR and believes the beds will help students feel more comfortable as they wait to be picked up.

“Once you know you’re positive it kind of really throws you off-whack and you get really concerned, but at least they’ll have a comfortable place to relax and know that their mom is on their way to take them to the doctor,” Salinas said.

The superintendent attributes the district’s low numbers in COVID cases to his aggressive approach to testing.

Hidalgo ISD tests its students, athletes, fine arts programs, cheerleaders, dancers and staff on a daily and bi-weekly basis.

The district also tests its staff before meetings and anyone who comes into the school is also tested beforehand.

“We just want to be sure that we are providing the safest learning environment for our students,” Salinas said.

As of Thursday, 34 new cases of COVID-19 were reported districtwide among students.

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