Student COVID Testing with FAQ

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Email sent 9/24/21

It is hard to believe that we are only two weeks from the end of the first quarter of school.  The district administrators and staff are thankful for the partnership we share in education and we value providing safe in-person instruction by implementing layered preventions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities.

Some district families have expressed interest in a screening and test-to-stay program for their child(ren). Screening tests for COVID-19 can support in-person learning by identifying infected persons who are asymptomatic and without known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. By identifying those who may be contagious, measures can be taken to prevent further transmission. A test-to-stay program allows us to have students who would normally be quarantined or isolated due to close contact be able to stay in school as long as they are asymptomatic and test negative. The test-to-stay program would require children who are close contacts to test on days 1, 3, 5 and 7 following exposure. The district has entered into a contract with Medlab Clinical Laboratory to provide free weekly testing using a saliva-based RT-PCR test that swabs both sides of the cheek and under the tongue.  
 
Parents may opt-in their children to participate in the weekly screening process.  Medlab will come on site to offer this service in our district.  The next step for implementation is for interested families to review and complete the opt-in consent form for COVID-19 testing, along with a release of records in Skyward.  Please complete the form by noon on Wednesday, September 29th. Directions for completing this form can be found by clicking here.  Students whose parents opt-in for testing will be added to the testing roster.  Once this data is shared with Medlab it will take approximately 7 to 10 business days before the first onsite testing will be offered at our schools.  Additional information regarding the testing schedule will be shared with you once it is finalized with Medlab support.    
 
If you have any questions related to the testing please reach out to Mandi Bavaro (mandi.bavaro@central301.net) or Leslie Stoner (leslie.stoner@central301.net) at the District Office (847-464-6005).

FAQ

Can we opt in for test-to-stay only or do we have to do weekly testing in order to be eligible for the test-to-stay option? No, students must be enrolled in the weekly testing program in order to participate in the test-to-stay option.

When and where will testing be completed? We are still working on the logistics. More information will be forthcoming.

Who does the testing? Testing will be done by a trained and certified Medlab professional.

Does it matter if my student is vaccinated? This program is available to all students regardless of vaccination status.

Can I choose to opt in or out later if I change my mind? You can change your opt-in status; however, it can take up to 7-10 days to make roster changes.

How do we receive the results of our student’s test? Parents/Guardians will be provided with a link to access the test results.

Does implementation of this program change the rules for vaccinated students who are a close contact? No, currently a vaccinated close contact does not need to quarantine as long as he/she remains asymptomatic without testing.

Scenarios

My unvaccinated child takes the weekly test and is deemed positive. He gets a PCR and is deemed negative thus the cheek swab is a false positive. The testing program uses a molecular PCR test and therefore if a student tests positive the KCHD would expect the student to stay home at least 10 calendar days and 24 hours with no fever (without fever reducing medication) and improvement of symptoms. While the KCHD may allow (on a case by case basis) two negative PCR tests following a positive antigen test to be used to clear a student they do not allow that option for a positive PCR test. A student who is positive cannot test their way out of quarantine/isolation.

My vaccinated child takes the weekly test and is deemed positive. He gets a PCR and is deemed negative thus the check swab is a false positive. The testing program uses a molecular PCR test and therefore if a student tests positive the KCHD would expect the student to stay home at least 10 calendar days and 24 hours with no fever (without fever reducing medication) and improvement of symptoms. While the KCHD may allow (on a case by case basis) two negative PCR tests following a positive antigen test to be used to clear a student they do not allow that option for a positive PCR test. A student who is positive cannot test their way out of quarantine/isolation.

My unvaccinated child has a cough. He has swabbed negative at his last test. The nurse would need to use her clinical judgement before a student would be excluded. It is recommended that the symptomatic student test within 48 hours from the onset of symptoms. If the student is excluded from school with a negative test result the student could return to school once symptoms improve or resolve. Even though a symptomatic student tests negative, we do not want students who are sick in school.

My vaccinated child has a cough. He has swabbed negative at his last test. The nurse would need to use her clinical judgement before a student would be excluded. It is recommended that the symptomatic student test within 48 hours from the onset of symptoms. If the student is excluded from school with a negative test result the student could return to school once symptoms improve or resolve. Even though a symptomatic student tests negative, we do not want students who are sick in school.

My unvaccinated child was a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID but does not have symptoms. If the student participates in the testing program and was exposed at school or at a school-related activity, they could remain at school if they test on days 1, 3, 5, and 7 following the close contact and the results are negative and the student remains asymptomatic. (KCHD guidance updated 9/29/21)

My vaccinated child was a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID but does not have symptoms. Fully vaccinated students are not required to quarantine unless they develop symptoms. If symptoms develop, testing is recommended within 48 hours of the symptom onset.

My unvaccinated child’s sibling has been sent home because they have a cough. The student with the symptoms should test within 48 hours from the onset of symptoms.  If the test is negative the student may return once symptoms improve or resolve.  If there is suspicion of COVID the sibling would also be sent home until a negative test is received for the symptomatic student.

My vaccinated child’s sibling has been sent home because they have a cough. The vaccinated sibling is able to remain in school.  It is recommended that vaccinated individuals test within 3-5 days following exposure to a positive case.

My vaccinated child has tested positive with both the cheek swab and a PCR.  How does this affect an unvaccinated sibling? The cheek swab is a PCR test.  The unvaccinated sibling would need to quarantine.   Household exposures are excluded from the test to stay option by the KCHD.

My unvaccinated child has tested positive with both the cheek swab and a PCR.  How does this affect a vaccinated sibling? The cheek swab is a PCR test. The unvaccinated student would need to stay home at least 10 calendar days and 24 hours with no fever (without fever reducing medication) and improvement of symptoms. The vaccinated sibling would remain in school, unless they developed symptoms. It is recommended that vaccinated individuals test within 3-5 days following exposure to a positive case.