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Test to Stay FAQs
The Westchester County Department of Health has authorized the BCSD to begin using a Test to Stay program. Test to Stay, TTS, allows unvaccinated students, teachers, and staff who have been exposed to a COVID-positive individual to be tested daily, rather than having to miss school. Students can continue to go to school if the daily test is negative and they show no symptoms. Any family whose student is notified they must quarantine due to exposure is eligible to participate in the program.
Bedford Central School District TTS Program FAQ
What is TTS? TTS is a strategy being used by school districts across the country to allow unvaccinated, asymptomatic students who have been exposed to a COVID-positive individual to continue to attend school by conducting daily rapid COVID testing before the start of the school day. Participation in the TTS program is completely optional and is the choice of the individual family. Students, teachers, and staff who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series who came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after their last close contact. These individuals could be eligible for Test to Stay programs that would allow them to stay in the school setting during the quarantine period.
Where does the testing occur? Testing for students participating in TTS will be administered at the nurse’s office before the start of school on school days.
How does my child participate in the TTS program? Once a student is identified as a close contact of a COVID-positive individual, the parent/guardian will be notified of the exposure. If the student is showing any symptoms of COVID they must quarantine for 5 days. When notified of the exposure, the parent/guardian will receive information regarding the TTS program. If the student is not showing symptoms of COVID, the parent/guardian may choose for the student to participate in the TTS program. The students may remain in school as long as the student’s test results are negative. In the event a student tests positive, the student will be isolated and will need to go home and follow the quarantine protocols. A signed Parent Permission Slip will be required to participate in the TTS program. Permission slips will be available with your school nurse.
Is there a fee to participate in the TTS Program? No, participation is free.
What if I choose not to have my student participate in the program? Students will be required to quarantine for 5 days after exposure per the DOH if they do not participate in the TTS program.
How many days must the student be tested? Students must be tested three times over the five days following exposure to COVID. Exposure day is considered Day # 0. Students may not miss a day of testing. Non-school (i.e., weekend days or holidays) are not counted in the five day testing period. Tests will not be administered on weekends or holidays. After the five days, students may attend school without being tested.
What if my student is identified as being exposed and is notified days after the exposure date? Testing will be adjusted accordingly and students will need to test for the remaining days in order to continue to attend in-person school.
What test is used for the TTS program? The iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test will be used. The test is a nasal swab and is administered quickly and non-invasively. Once the test is administered, results are available in approximately 15 minutes.
How will I know the results of my student’s test? Results will be available 15 minutes after the test. Results for elementary students will be communicated with the student’s parent/guardian clearing them for attendance. At the secondary level parents will be notified only if there is a positive test result.
What happens if the student tests positive during the daily testing period? If a student tests positive during the testing period then they will be required to quarantine for 5 days.
What if my student was COVID-positive in the last 90 days? A student who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days is not required to quarantine or participate in testing.
What happens if the student begins to show symptoms of COVID? Any individual who is showing COVID symptoms should isolate immediately and consult with a healthcare provider for testing recommendations.
If my child takes a PCR test and is negative, can he/she exit the TTS program and return to in-person school? No, a negative PCR test result will not allow an exposed student to return to in-person school or exit TTS or quarantine.
Does a student who has been exposed to COVID in their home by a family member qualify for TTS? As complete isolation of family members in the same home is difficult to maintain, after seeking advice from the Westchester County Department of Health, we have determined that exposure within a household will not qualify an individual for the TTS program.
Does an individual who is fully vaccinated need to quarantine and/or test after exposure to a COVID-positive individual? A fully-vaccinated individual is defined as one who is two full weeks past the second vaccination or booster dose. A fully-vaccinated individual who is not showing any symptoms is not required to quarantine nor participate in TTS as per the Department of Health.
*The NYSDOH recently clarified eligibility for participation in the TTS program. TTS only applies to unvaccinated BCSD students and staff for in-school exposures. Students exposed to COVID outside of school are not eligible to participate in TTS.