December 8, 2021
RE: Test to Stay (TTS)
This letter is to provide information and updates regarding a strategy entitled “Test to Stay”. You may have heard this topic included in local media coverage in the past few days. This has been announced as supported by Onondaga County to help decrease the number of students placed in a mandatory quarantine.
We began discussions with the Onondaga County Health Department yesterday and will continue to seek clarification to many areas that are yet to be determined. Essentially, the “Test to Stay” will allow parents of students determined to be exposed to a positive case and identified to serve a mandatory quarantine to instead test daily over a seven day period. The appropriate COVID-19 test would be provided at school. A student would be allowed to attend school for the academic day provided they remain asymptomatic and the test result is negative. The same student would still be considered in quarantine outside of the school day per OCHD and would not be allowed to participate in Interscholastic Athletics, Fine Arts, or other extracurricular events.
In addition to getting clarification on procedures, schools are required to submit an application for consideration as a Limited Service Laboratory (LSL) with the New York State Department of Health. We have been informed that receiving approval as a LSL will take three to four weeks. West Genesee is in the process of completing the application and will pursue “Test to Stay” as we have a shared goal of keeping as many students in school as possible.
Based on information received yesterday and today from the Onondaga County Department of Health and the many questions yet to be answered, West Genesee and other Onondaga County schools who are pursuing this are looking at mid to late January 2022 at the earliest to start the implementation of Test to Stay.
We will continue to implement the mitigation strategies of mask wearing, distancing, and hygiene practices along with providing information and opportunities for those interested in asymptomatic testing and vaccination participation, as they become available.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership.
David C. Bills
West Genesee CSD