Everything You Need To Know About New York State’s Test To Stay
Will school kids in New York State who have been exposed to Covid-19, but don’t have symptoms, be allowed to remain in school instead of quarantining at home?
Under New York State's "Test To Stay" (TTS) guidelines, they will be able too. New York State has notified county health departments that they now have the option of allowing school districts to offer TTS to students and their families.
NYSDOH acknowledges TTS as a strategy that allows close contacts to avoid school exclusion (but not other parameters of quarantine) by testing negative with a rapid NAAT or antigen test (e.g., BinaxNOW) on each school day for seven days after exposure."
Back in October 2021, NYSDOH did not recommend TTS. Buffalo News reports that the Health Department is still not recommending this approach as of December, or providing resources to support it. What they are doing is providing new guidance since the program "has received media attention and is being piloted in certain jurisdictions."
Here's How Test To Stay Works
The test-to-stay procedure would require students who wish to avoid quarantine to test negative in a rapid test each day. That testing would last for seven days after potential exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID. The current New York state recommendation is that students considered close contacts of a COVID positive person remain quarantined for 10 days from the date of exposure, unless they are vaccinated.
According to Syracuse.com, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is encouraging school districts to adopt “test-to-stay” policies:
“We have to keep kids in school,” McMahon said. “We will support school districts and help them where we can.” McMahon said school districts will decide whether to offer the test-to-stay approach."
The state guidance says local health departments can also allow parents to use over-the-counter at-home Covid tests as evidence to keep students in school.
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