COVID-19 TESTING FAQ’s
For the 2021-22 school year, we are offering a COVID-19 testing program to our entire community as an extra layer of protection to our community in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This program will include three parts:
This is used when a student is showing symptoms of COVID-19 during school, though students should not come to school if they are feeling sick at home.
These tests are done by our nursing staff, and are rapid, antigen tests that will yield results within 15 minutes. If a student has minimal symptoms and tests negative, they can remain in school.
ROUTINE surveillance testing
We will provide pooled PCR testing to all students, faculty, and staff once per week during Homeroom time (Wednesday mornings).
The pooled samples will be collected in groups of 5-10 people and are grouped together prior to testing. The combined samples are collected at LCA and then tested for COVID-19 in a lab offsite.
Results are usually ready within 24 hours. If any samples come back positive, the individuals in that group will take individual tests (also administered onsite at LCA) to determine which person produced the positive result. Once we have that information, we will proceed with our positive case protocols as usual.
test & stay
This protocol allows students who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 while at school to stay in school as long as they are not showing symptoms.
Instead of needing to quarantine and miss school, these students will take a daily rapid test onsite for five consecutive days while they remain in school.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN I CHANGE MY MIND AND CONSENT LATER?
Yes. If you would like to change your consent status, please email our Director of Health Services.
WHO CAN SEE MY TEST RESULTS?
LCA medical staff are the only people who will ever know the results of an individual test.
Pooled tests are processed offsite at the CIC, but they will only ever identify whether a pool contains a positive test. This will not indicate which test is positive; further testing will be necessary to determine this.
In the event that there is a positive pool, LCA medical staff will administer a rapid antigen test, the results of which will only be known to the medical personnel administering the test.
Once a COVID-19+ individual has been identified, LCA administration will be notified for the purposes of communication and contact tracing.
Positive test results are also reported to the Board of Health for broader community contact tracing.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DECLINE CONSENT?
Declining consent means that you may not receive a COVID-19 test administered by any LCA medical staff at any time. In each of our three scenarios this means:
1. If you are a close contact of a COVID-19+ individual and do not meet any exemptions to quarantining, you will need to stay home from school. You may not participate in the Test & Stay program.
2. If you are exhibiting symptoms while in school, you will be sent home for testing and may need to quarantine.
3. You will not be included in the routine, pooled surveillance testing.
IF I DECLINE CONSENT, CAN I STILL PARTICIPATE IN TEST & STAY?
No. Declining consent means that you may not participate in any of the programs listed above.
what kind of tests will be administered?
Surveillance testing is a front nasal swab PCR test. This test is pooled (combined with 1-9 other tests).
Test & Stay and symptomatic testing are front nasal, rapid, antigen tests. These tests are individual tests (not pooled).
is testing required?
This testing is provided by LCA free of charge by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). DESE requires that testing be optional to all.