The CDC last week endorsed “Test to Stay,” a COVID-19 testing protocol in use in school districts across the U.S. aimed at keeping kids in school and avoiding at-home quarantines.
The Blue Valley School District adopted the “Test to Stay” program earlier this fall.
It allows for students showing symptoms of COVID-19 or students who have been exposed to a positive case to remain in school as long as they test negative for the disease.
Here are more details on how it works.
How ‘Test to Stay’ Works
If a student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or is asymptomatic but been exposed to a known positive case, they can be tested daily for seven consecutive school days.
As long as they test negative, they can remain in school and not have to quarantine at home.
While they are in the seven-day “Test to Stay” protocol window, students must wear masks at all times at school, except while eating or drinking, and also during athletics and other extracurricular activities.
During the seven-day “Test to Stay” period, students and staff must also eat lunch at least six feet away from other people.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 at any point, they will be excluded at home from in-person learning for 10 days or until they can show a negative result from a PCR test.
Parental consent is required before the first test. Students can test without parents during subsequent tests.
Students can get tested at any community testing site, though the district encourages families to get tested at MAWD’s drive-in testing clinic at 14950 Newton Drive in Overland Park because they are more likely to get results back from MAWD before the next school day.
Students must receive a negative result from a PCR test prior to returning to school the following day. If a test result is not received in time, then the student must stay home that day.
In addition, the district still recommends all eligible students — which at this point, are all students except for some pre-K students — get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The district says, per CDC recommendations, fully vaccinated students who have been exposed to a positive case will not be asked to quarantine at home.
More information about Blue Valley’s “Test to Stay” protocol and other COVID-19 mitigation plans can be found here.
The district’s online COVID-19 dashboard shows that for the most recent week of data reported between Dec. 8 and Dec. 15, there were 134 positive cases among students, a new single-week high for the Blue Valley district.
That is an increase from the week before when there were 101 positive cases among students.
In addition, there are 13 positive cases among staff members in the district’s latest reported numbers.