State Mandated COVID Testing FAQ
What test is being used and who is administering the tests?
The state is providing school districts with the COVID-19 rapid test, and the tests will be administered by nurses to students for whom we have received parental consent. The testing process will involve inserting a small swab, similar to a Q-Tip, into the lower most portion of the nostril. This is a quick nasal swab test of both nostrils. This is NOT the deep swab test that is performed at medical facilities.
How do I consent to have my kids tested at school?
Please complete the parent consent form for your child(ren).
Why is the rapid test being used?
The rationale of using the rapid test instead of the PCR test is that these tests will be done on students and staff who are asymptomatic. Rapid tests detect protein fragments specific to the Coronavirus and are non-invasive. PCR tests detect RNA that is specific to the virus and are the “deep sinus” variety. These have a longer turnaround time than the rapid test.
How many people need to be tested each week to keep schools open?
Schools are required to test 20% of in-person learners and school staff over a 2-week period. If we do not meet the testing requirements, it is our understanding that we must switch to full remote instruction.
Can I be present when my child is tested?
Parents and guardians may not be present for testing during the school day as we must limit the number of people within our school buildings.
What if I prefer to get my child tested offsite?
You can get your child tested by your health care provider or at any testing site. In order for those tests to count toward the 20% threshold, results need to be provided to your school nurse within a week. If it is your intention to test offsite, please notify the school and indicate when your child will be tested.
If I do not consent to testing, will my child be forced to switch to full remote instruction?
No, your child can continue to be part of the in-person learning model as long as we have enough volunteers. If we do not reach the 20% benchmark, all students may be forced to full remote instruction.
If I don’t consent now, will I have an opportunity to reconsider?
Yes. Depending on the number of parents who consent, we could have to solicit more volunteers to test in future weeks. If that happens, we will send another email asking new families to consent.
Can parents or family members get tested too?
No, schools only get enough tests to accommodate 20% of our school population.
What happens if a student tests positive?
If your child tests positive, you will be notified, asked to quarantine, and will need to follow up with your health care provider for a PCR test. In addition, we will share information with Rensselaer County Department of Health.