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Growing number of Kentucky school districts looking at 'test to stay' option amid quarantines

COVID-19 masks schools
Posted at 4:50 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 16:50:38-04

(LEX 18) — "Test to Stay" is a new option districts have in their toolbox, thanks in part to a law passed during the special session earlier this month.

The option gives asymptomatic students an opportunity to test negative for a certain number of days and stay in school. There would be rapid tests at each of the schools for students exposed to COVID-19.

Here is what LEX 18 has learned so far from local school districts:

Bourbon County: The school district is in the process of setting the program for test and stay up with ETHOS labs and hope to start in the next few days.
Fayette County: FCPS is currently piloting an optional program called "Test to Stay in School." Students can stay in school as long as they are asymptomatic and receive free on-campus testing Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays for 7 days from the initial exposure. If that includes weekends or holidays, they need to be tested again once they're back in school. Students must refrain from other activities, except school, until day 8.
Jessamine County: Testing will be offered each week Sunday-Thursday from 4:30-7:30 p.m. The drive through location is at the Jessamine Career and Technology Center (JCTC), 881 Wilmore Road. Test results will be provided to both the individuals tested and Jessamine County Schools Health Services within 2-6 hours following the test. Those testing negative will be able to return to school/work the following day. Students and staff who are instructed to quarantine due to designation as a close contact will receive more detailed instructions and information on the Test-to-Stay program. Other options available for a return to school include the models already in place for completing a partial or full quarantine. District, student, and staff participation in this program is voluntary and free of charge.
Madison County: The district has begun its "Test to Stay" program. The school district is utilizing their district office as their testing site each afternoon Sunday through Thursday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. for students and staff who have been identified as close contacts in their school setting. They have partnered with Wild Health for implementation of the program and are utilizing our district's nursing staff to administer the tests. The school district says they're hopeful and optimistic that "Test to Stay" will significantly reduce their number of students who are missing out on in-person instruction due to exposure.
Rockcastle County: Parents must register their students at ethosbacktoschool.com and students can opt into the voluntary program. They have to test negative for five days but can remain at school each day. If there is a positive test, the student or staff will need to leave and quarantine.
Scott County: The school district is in the process of finalizing their "Test to Stay" protocols with plans for implementation starting Monday, October 11th, the first day back from fall break.
Woodford County: Beginning Monday, October 11, 2021, students at Woodford County Middle School (WCMS) will have the opportunity to participate in the district's pilot for a "Test-to-Stay" program. If a student is deemed a close contact by the local health department and thus required to quarantine, their parent/guardian may choose to have them receive a rapid COVID-19 test at WCMS prior to going to class each morning. If the rapid test is negative, the student is permitted to stay at school as well as participate in afternoon and evening activities that day only. The permission to stay at school and participate in school-related activities is only valid for the day of the test. The student will need to receive another rapid each successive day during the duration of their quarantine, which will determine if they are able to stay at school and participate in after-school activities again. This program will also be available for staff members to utilize if they are deemed a close contact.

We will update this list if we learn more information from other school districts.