Salisbury-Elk Lick School District

Test to Stay Policy

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on a VOLUNTARY/optional modified quarantine strategy for managing COVID-19 exposures in the school setting. CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) guidelines emphasize the implementation of layered prevention strategies to protect students, teachers, and staff, which includes isolation of persons who test positive for COVID-19 and quarantine of unvaccinated contacts. This document outlines considerations for a “test to stay” modified quarantine to allow unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 at school to continue with in-person instruction with repeated negative COVID-19 testing.

School requirements of a Test to Stay modified quarantine strategy

1) Collaboration with the PADOH. Positive tests will be reported to the PADOH. If an increase in positive cases occurs in the school setting, the school district should consult with the PADOH to determine if the Test to Stay modified quarantine should be discontinued and exposed unvaccinated individuals quarantined away from school.

2) Implementation of a testing program at the school or in the school district that provides access to SARS-CoV-2 testing for students, faculty, and staff at no cost to the individual.

3) Ensure testing is conducted with voluntary informed consent from the appropriate person, parent, or guardian. If consent is withheld or cannot be obtained, exposed individuals are not candidates for this voluntary program and should quarantine per standard protocol.

Student eligibility requirements of a Test to Stay modified quarantine

To be eligible for the Test to Stay modified quarantine, the individual must:

Be a K-12 student;

Be entirely asymptomatic, without any signs or symptoms of COVID-19;

Wear a mask indoors when at school for the entirety of the program, even if all test results are negative. The mask should fit securely over the nose and mouth;

Have been exposed to the person with COVID-19 at school only.

Quarantine when not at school. When not at school, the exposed student must stay home and refrain from all extracurricular activities, including sports and other activities in the community setting.

Exposure assessment with a Test to Stay modified quarantine option

Schools should work with the PADOH to identify individuals who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19. A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infectious person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.

·        Exception: In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were at least 3 feet away from an infected student if both students correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time and other K-12 COVID-19 prevention

strategies were in place. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the

indoor classroom setting.

Close contacts should be notified of their possible exposure and provided with educational materials about COVID-19.

Fully-vaccinated persons do not need to quarantine following an exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 if they are not experiencing symptoms but are recommended to be tested 3-5 days after an exposure and to wear a mask indoors and in public settings for 14 days or until a negative COVID-19 test is obtained. Fully vaccinated individuals are those who have received a Janssen (J&J) vaccine or the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine >14 days prior to the exposure.

Unvaccinated students, teachers, or staff who are identified as close contacts who were exposed within the school setting should be instructed to either:

·        Self-quarantine away from school for 7 days after the last exposure (day 0). The individual may return on day 8 if they are symptom-free and receive a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test on day 5, 6, or 7; OR

·        Self-quarantine away from school for 10 days after the last exposure (day 0). The individual may return on day 11 without testing if they are symptom-free; OR

·        Participate in the Test to Stay modified quarantine for 7 days (students only). Students may continue with in-person instruction if the Test to Stay Protocol listed below is followed. The student may discontinue modified quarantine on day 8 if they are symptom-free and receive a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test on day 5, 6, or 7.

• Unvaccinated persons who have documented COVID-19 illness in the 3 months prior to their exposure (with a positive COVID-19 PCR or antigen test) do not need to quarantine if they are symptom-free. Antibody testing should not be used for determining need to quarantine; per the FDA, results from currently-authorized SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests should not be used to evaluate a person’s level of immunity or protection from COVID-19 at any time.

Test to Stay Protocol

• Testing should occur at the school location accessible to students at no cost.

• The test should be an FDA-approved rapid antigen test to identify current SARS-CoV-2 infection and be performed by a licensed healthcare provider or trained personnel under a CLIA-waiver. The type of test should be selected based on the availability of testing supplies and the anticipated turnaround time for results.

• Testing frequency should be determined by the sensitivity of the type of test selected. The sensitivity of rapid antigen tests varies but is generally lower than most PCR tests, therefore rapid antigen tests may be less likely to detect a small amount of virus before the onset of symptoms, leading to more false-negative results. More frequent testing is recommended when using a less sensitive rapid antigen test.

Rapid antigen testing option: Rapid antigen testing will be conducted on Tuesdays and Fridays as available. If possible, testing should occur at the start of the day and negative results should be received before the individual participates in school activities.

• If a test result is positive, the individual must be sent home to isolate immediately.

• Where possible, exposed students should refrain from riding a school bus or riding with other non-household members to school while in modified quarantine.

• Symptom screening of students on modified quarantine, including temperature checks, should occur daily.

• Students who refuse to receive their scheduled SARS-CoV-2 testing should be immediately sent home from school to quarantine and follow the standard quarantine procedures.

Additional considerations

• The Test to Stay modified quarantine strategy may be most appropriate for school settings where students are cohorted in a single classroom or grade and are not mixing with other students.

• The Test to Stay modified quarantine may not be appropriate for all in-school exposures. It is

reasonable to consider additional factors to determine whether the exposure presents higher risk, such as:

·        Inconsistent use of masks or other layered prevention strategies in the setting.

·        Total number of cumulative days of exposure (e.g., infectious individual only present in school

·        1-2 days during the infectious period vs. an entire week).

·        Participation in activities that are high risk for disease transmission (e.g., singing, shouting,

·        playing wind instruments).

How do I provide consent On-line for my child?

Please navigate to and complete the consent process if you wish to allow your child to participate in testing.

 The access code you will need:

 Elementary School: 7K7UNK

High School: GZNV3Z