Our school is excited to announce that we are ready to begin the antigen Test to Stay (TTS) program. The TTS program is activated when a student or student(s) are identified as a close contact to a confirmed case of COVID-19. The intention of the TTS program is to allow students that would otherwise be required to quarantine to remain in school. A detailed description of this program can be found on the Agency of Education Test to Stay website and you can also take a look at how the program will work in this flowchart. Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union schools will ONLY be offering Antigen testing (or test type 1) because we are fortunate to have easy access to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing at Southwestern Vermont Health Care with a much faster turn-around time than school-based PCR testing would provide. More details on what testing day will look like are included below.
Please note: your child must be signed up for Test to Stay prior to a COVID-19 exposure at school. Registration for this program is required prior to your child being determined as a close contact to a school exposure. If you do not sign your child up and they are exposed, you will not be able to participate in the program.
- A student can only participate in Test to Stay if their parent/guardian has given consent. If you would like your child to participate in the response testing, including the antigen Test to Stay program, please complete the Consent webform as soon as possible. For families with no access to the internet please contact your school for help with consent.
- Vermont will be using SimpleReport to report the results of antigen tests. This reporting system allows for parents/guardians to receive their student’s results instantly. Please register your student, including your contact information, using this https://www.simplereport.gov/register/ABECH. Please Note: this self-registration link is not the same thing as giving consent. In order for your child to participate, you must complete the Consent webform.
How the Test to Stay Program works:
Test to Stay is only for unvaccinated students who are close contacts of a positive case that they encountered at school. It replaces the need to quarantine and miss school days, but students are still expected to quarantine when at home, including on the weekends. Please note that this program is contingent on the SVSU receiving supplies from the Vermont Department of Health.
If you have consented for your child to participate in the Test to Stay program you will receive a notification if they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case. In most cases, Test to Stay will start the next morning and your child will receive a rapid antigen test before the beginning of school. Antigen testing will continue until seven (7) school days after the last exposure. If the last day of testing falls on a weekend, then the school will do a final day of testing on Monday morning.
- If your child tests negative, they may remain at school and participate in school-sponsored activities.
- If your child tests positive, they will be considered positive for COVID-19 and will need to enter a period of isolation for 10 days. You will receive a letter with specific instructions if this should occur.
If your child develops symptoms at any point, inform the school, seek a PCR test right away and keep your child at home and away from others.
Your child does not need to be tested on the weekends, but should be quarantined from the community, meaning they should not participate in other activities, go to the grocery store, or spend time with friends and others outside of their household.
It is important to note that this Test to Stay program is only for attendance at school or on-campus school-sponsored activities. Your child is expected to quarantine for all other activities, aside from medical appointments, until seven (7) days after last exposure. While participating in Test to Stay, your child may not attend school activities that involve students from other schools, such as sport or scholastic competition.
During the entirety of this Test to Stay protocol, you or a designated person should be available to provide transportation home should your child test positive.
- If your child travels by bus, you or a designated person should plan to be available daily in case your child needs to be picked up. If your child receives a positive antigen test result, they will need to be picked up from school as soon as possible and will not be permitted to take the bus home.
- If your child travels by car, you or a designated person may wish to remain at school until the rapid test results come back (approximately 30 minutes).
During your child’s quarantine:
- You should watch for symptoms, even if mild, of cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle pain or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Your child should not leave home, except to attend school, on-campus school-sponsored activities, or to get medical care.
- You should call ahead before visiting a health care provider or emergency department with your child to notify them that your child is in quarantine.
- While at home, your child should stay apart from other people in the household, especially anyone who is at increased risk of getting very sick, like people who are older or have health conditions. Other household members, including siblings attending school, do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.
If at any point your child develops symptoms:
- Do not send your child to school.
- Make an appointment through the Vermont Department of Health to schedule a PCR test.
- If your child is having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.
- If your child doesn’t have a provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected to a clinic in your area.
- People with mild illness can treat their symptoms at home: help your child get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take fever-reducing medication if needed.
If you have questions, please contact your school nurse.