Eastchester Test to Stay Program
The Westchester County Department of Health County (WCDOH) has granted approval for the Eastchester Union Free School District to implement a Test to Stay (TTS) program under Westchester County's limited services laboratory license. We are pleased our advocacy efforts helped to expedite approval of this program to ensure students remain in school for in-person learning.
The TTS program permits unvaccinated, asymptomatic students who have been exposed to COVID-19 to remain in school by getting tested at least 3 times within the 5 day period following exposure. Eastchester's program will test school EVERY DAY within the 5 day period. The TTS protocols are dictated by WCDOH and may be subject to change as new guidance is issued. WCDOH requires the District to adhere to the TTS protocols explained in the following FAQ:
Q. When will the program begin?
A. January 6, 2022.
Q. Who is eligible to participate in the TTS program?
A. The District will provide rapid antigen testing for unvaccinated students whose parents give consent to participate in the TTS program. If the school informs you that your child is a close-contact of a COVID positive case, you will be offered the ability to enroll in TTS in lieu of quarantine. Parents who plan to have their child participate in the TTS program are required to complete this TTS Consent Form. The TTS program is only for asymptomatic students who have had close contact with a positive case. If an individual becomes symptomatic during the TTS, even with a negative antigen test, they are no longer eligible for TTS and must be excluded from school. Students who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine following exposure and, therefore, do not need to participate in the TTS program.
Q. Where is the program held and what is the procedure?
A. If the school has offered TTS to your child and you have filled out the TTS Consent form, you must then click here to sign up for a time slot for each day that your child is required to participate in TTS. You must drive your child to Anne Hutchinson School in each morning during the testing period before school begins. Please pull through the front driveway and park in the small lot at the east end of the property and walk to the front door of the school. You will step inside, await your turn in the main hallway and then sign in. A nurse will administer the test, which is a non-invasive nasal swab that is inserted 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch into each nostril. You and your child will then proceed to a separate hallway to await results, which will take about 15 minutes. If the result is negative, you will be issued a signed authorization that the student shouold take to the school and present to the main office and the teacher so that you may attend school for the day. If the test is positive, your child will need to quarantine at home.
Q. Can my child participate in the TTS program if their exposure occurred outside of school?
A. Not at this time per directive of the Westchester County Health Department. Therefore Eastchester's TTS program is ony for quarantines that result from an exposure at school - not for students who are symptomatic or quarantined due to an out-of-school exposure. We will continue to evaluate this provision and if we are able to safely expand, will consider doing so at a future time.
Q. What if I choose not to have my student participate in the TTS program?
A. Students who are unvaccinated and choose not participate in the TTS program will be required to quarantine for 10 days after exposure as required by WCDOH. Students who are quarantined may participate in virtual learning.
Q. Is there a fee to participate in the TTS program?
A. There is no fee for a student to participate in the TTS program.
Q. When will the daily rapid antigen test be administered?
A. The daily rapid antigen test must be conducted by the school nurse at school before the school day begins between 6:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. WCDOH requires that the test to stay be administered by a licensed medical provider, and the test cannot be administered at home. The rapid antigen test will be administered before school each morning for seven (5) days following exposure.
Q. How and where will the testing be conducted at school?
A. All K-12 TTS tests will be administered carside on the Anne Hutchinson School. The testing window is between 6:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. Parents/Guardians should drive into the rear parking lot and pull through the front driveway and park in the small lot at the east end of the property and walk to the front door of the school. You will step inside, await your turn in the main hallway and then sign in. A nurse will administer the test, which is a non-invasive nasal swab that is inserted 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch into each nostril. You and your child will then proceed to a separate hallway to await results, which will take about 15 minutes. If the result is negative, you will be issued a signed authorization that the student shouold take to the school and present to the main office and the teacher so that you may attend school for the day.
Q. Can my child ride the bus when participating in the TTS program?
A. Students in the TTS program are permitted to ride the bus, however testing must be done before the school day begins so on testing days must be driven to school and report directly to the Anne Hutchinson testing site to complete their daily test. Students may ride the bus home and to and from school thereafter.
Q. What if my child is identified as being exposed to COVID-19 and is notified days after the exposure date? Can they still participate in the TTS program?
A. Testing will be adjusted accordingly and students will need to test for the remaining days up to the 7th day of quarantine in order to continue to attend in-person school.
Q. What if my child was COVID-positive in the last 90 days?
A. A student who has received a lab-confirmed COVID-19 test result in the past 90 days is not required to quarantine or participate in TTS testing.
Q. What if my child develops symptoms while participating in the TTS program?
A. If the student who is allowed to remain in school through the TTS program develops COVID-19 symptoms, they must be excluded from school per current WCDOH guidance. The student will also need a molecular test from a testing facility (Eastchester partners with Healthy Therapeutics on Brook Stree in Scarsdale) and will need to remain home until a negative result is received, the student is fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medication, and any other symptoms are improving.
Q. Does the TTS program allow my child to participate in activities outside the school day?
A. Test to Stay does not permit a student to participate in sports or extracurricular activities such as band, chorus, theater and/or other activities outside of the school day for the duration of the 10-day quarantine period. According to WCDOH, the TTS program is meant to ensure that students can attend in-person instruction during the regular school day. A student in the TTS program must remain under quarantine outside of school.
Q. Is daily testing required on weekends and holidays?
A. Daily testing as part of the TTS program is only required on days when school is in session (weekends and holidays are excluded). Tests will not be administered on weekends or holidays.
Q. What happens if my child has another exposure to a positive case while participating in the TTS program?
A. If a student in the TTS program is exposed to a new COVID-19 case, the “seven-day clock” restarts from the date of the most recent exposure.
Q. What happens after my child tests negative for seven (7) days?
A. For students who test negative on day 5:
- Testing is no longer required through the TTS program for this exposure.
- Such students still remain under an official quarantine order through day 10 and cannot participate in any non-academic activities (e.g. sports or clubs) until the end of the 10-day quarantine.
- Once the quarantine order is lifted, the student should continue to self-monitor (or monitor by the parent) for COVID-19 symptoms through day 14.
- If the student develops symptoms on days 8-14, the student should isolate and follow NYS school guidance for returning to school.
- Students may resume riding the school bus to and from school.
Q. Can my child get a negative COVID-19 test to be released from quarantine?
A. WCDOH does NOT permit individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 to test out of quarantine. The TTS program is the only option that WCDOH has approved to permit unvaccinated, asymptomatic students to remain in school following a COVID-19 exposure.