County utilizes Test to Stay program

·2 min read

Oct. 2—Madison County Schools and WildHealth have partnered to implement a Test to Stay program for students and staff.

Test to Stay is yet another tool districts in Kentucky can use to help battle the effects of COVID-19 on schools. The option for Test to Stay was a part of the education bill passed during the state's special held session.

The program is aimed at lowering the impact of quarantining non-symptomatic students and staff. Districts do not have to implement a Test to Stay program; however, many districts in Kentucky have.

Test to Stay for the Madison County district began Sunday afternoon.

As of Friday at 9 p.m., this decision comes as the district currently has 48 active students cases, four active employee cases, 226 quarantined students, and two quarantined staff.

For Madison County's Test to Stay program, students and staff identified by the district's nursing staff as being in close contact or exposed are all eligible to participate in the program.

Erin Stewart, community education director, explained on Sundays through Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., those who are identified as close contacts or exposed to someone with COVID-19 can come to the district office to be tested.

If the student or staff are negative, they can report to school the following day.

If they are positive, they will be asked to quarantine. Those who remain negative and asymptomatic are asked to test for six days. Testing will not be done for the weekend days. Stewart said after day six, students or staff are cleared for return without any further testing.

Stewart explained the Test to Stay program is only applicable to regular instructional days, but students and staff are asked to continue quarantining during after-school hours. The Test to Stay program does not include extra and co-curricular activities, sports, clubs, and organizations who meet after school.

"We are hopeful and optimistic that the program will help to significantly reduce the number of students we have who are missing in-person instruction due to exposure," Stewart said.

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