Erie County Department of Health issues update on test-to-stay program

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 06, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Department of Health has issued an update on the test-to-stay program.

In November the county announced a test-to-stay pilot program with the Grand Island Central School District.

In December the CDC approved to have test-to-stay policies that allows close contacts of students who test positive for COVID-19 to remain in the classroom if they test negative. About a week after the CDC approval, Erie County gave districts the green light to implement test-to-stay programs.

Wednesday the county postponed a planned meeting to review test-to-stay with school officials saying it needed more time to review changes by the state health department regarding new isolation and quarantine guidance. Thursday the ECDOH released an update on test-to-stay.

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued significant changes to its Isolation and Quarantine guidance late in the evening on Tuesday, January 4. As the Erie County Department of Health’s Epidemiology Office began to review this documentation, it was quickly determined that ECDOH needed additional time to make significant changes to the Erie County Test to Stay (TTS) protocols to prepare for the all-school meeting scheduled on Wednesday afternoon.

The ECDOH said the meeting with school officials will now take place Friday afternoon and the rescheduling of the meeting will not delay the proposed start date of the program which is planned for mid-January.

ECDOH and its school team look forward to the rescheduled all-school meeting on January 7, to review TTS protocols and applicable NYSDOH guidance, to respond to administrators’ questions, and to define the process for ordering test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE).