The Bullhead City School District (BCSD) and the Mohave County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) have announced the schedule for tuberculosis disease testing on Friday (August 11) at Diamondback Elementary School, 2550 Tesota Way. Testing is for students and employees who were potentially exposed from March through June of the 2022-2023 school year.
Although parents or guardians must be present or provide a consent form for minors to be tested, MCDPH will not be testing family members at Friday’s clinic, which runs from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Schedules are staggered to minimize back-ups, but some delays may occur. Please bring water and prepare for any heat exposure, although every attempt will be made to keep people cool. The schedule is:
- 9:00 a.m. Current fifth graders at Bullhead City Middle School
- 10:00 a.m. Current fourth graders at Diamondback Elementary School
- 11:00 a.m. Current third graders at Diamondback Elementary School
- 12:00 p.m. Diamondback, BCSD, Chartwells and other employees
- 1:00 p.m. Current second graders at Diamondback Elementary School
- 2:00 p.m. Current first graders at Diamondback Elementary School
- 3:00 p.m. Those unable to come during scheduled blocks
Parents with children in more than one grade may test in the same time slot. Health professionals will read test results during school hours Monday (August 14) at both Diamondback and the Middle School. Parental presence Monday is not needed. Only those who test positive will be notified by MCDPH. There is no charge for the tests. If an initial test comes back positive, there is no charge for any follow-ups, such as chest x-rays or treatment.
The individual who tested positive is not currently in or at a BCSD school, nor have they been this school year. When a positive TB diagnosis was confirmed last week, a medical provider quickly notified MCDPH. BCSD and MCDPH immediately coordinated an action plan, including extensive notifications that same day. Due to federal privacy laws covered by HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, no additional information can be provided about the individual who has tested positive. (HIPAA keeps medical records private and secure; FERPA keeps education records private.)
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria resulting in an infection that typically affects the lungs. The American Pulmonary Association states, “It is not easy to contract an infection of tuberculosis.” A person must usually have close contact with the infected person for a substantial length of time to get TB. Casual and limited contact with a person with active TB is not enough for someone to pass it on to others. Tuberculosis infection and disease can be cured with medication.
More information about TB and its treatment may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/tb/ . The Arizona Department of Health Services also has TB information and resources at https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/disease-integration-services/tb-control/#tb-control-patients .
Those with questions may also call MCDPH at 928-718-4932.