Our goal at Rochester CUSD #3a is to create conditions where teachers teach and students learn in as safe of an environment as possible with little transmission of COVID-19. Today our schools took another significant step forward as we are excited to announce the launch of our “Test to Stay” Policy for all students effective immediately.
Test to Stay is an optional program that will allow students who have been identified as close contacts to individuals in the classroom who are positive with COVID-19 to remain in school as long as they remain asymptomatic and test negative on Days 1, 3, 5, and 7 after exposure. Currently the BiNax NOW rapid antigen tests will be used by school nurses to complete the Test to Stay protocols. In the near future schools will transition to the SHIELD saliva-based PCR tests for this purpose. For the purposes of Test to Stay, household contacts and many close contacts that occur in the lunchrooms are not eligible for this option.
We are proud to launch Test to Stay as a way to minimize the number of students, athletes, and staff placed on lengthy quarantines. In order to enroll in Test to Stay, families will first be required to provide additional consent that will be provided by our school nurses on a case by case basis.
While modified quarantine options such as Test to Stay are significant steps forward and good options to help keep our students and staff safe and in school, vaccination remains the best mitigation option. Students and staff who are fully vaccinated and wearing properly fitting face masks are not required to quarantine per the IDPH and Sangamon County Department of Public Health.