ALDEN, NY (WKBW) — The Alden Central School District will be launching Test-to-Stay this Thursday.
Districts and schools were given the green light to begin the program from the Erie County Health Department last Friday.
“Our goal and our focus is getting students in front of their classroom teachers to learn,” remarked Adam Stoltman, superintendent, Alden Central School District. “I’m incredibly excited about getting our students eligible to be back in school.”
Test-to-Stay will allow students who test negative for COVID to stay in school instead of remaining in quarantine at home following an in-school exposure.
Superintendent Stoltman says he's preparing to launch the program on Thursday using tests left from a recent state-wide test distribution to schools.
Stotlman has also placed an order for more tests with the county.
“We have ordered our county tests. I have not heard yet whether or not those will be delivered by the end of the week or when we will get them,” Stoltman explained.
Test-to-Stay does not cover exposure from outside of school or extra curricular or sports activities.
“It is for in-school contacts only. Unfortunately not for students that are identified as close contact outside of school,” Stoltman replied. “We do realize that the Test to Stay program does not include students participation in the plays the musicals, sports — that it is isolated to just the classroom."
Some rooms inside Alden school buildings are being designated for Test to Stay.
“Students will report to school and immediately report to the testing location in each one of our buildings, receive a rapid test, await their results and fingers crossed, that those results are negative,” responded Stoltman.
The state has eased quarantine guidance for Test-to-Stay from ten days to five.
But Test-to-Stay is only for students and not teachers and staffers.
“The Test-to-Stay is for students only and that's pretty clear in the guidance that was distributed to us,” noted Stoltman.
It's important to note vaccinated students and staffers do not have to participate in Test-to-Stay even if exposed to a COVID case at school as long as they have no symptoms.