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Test to Stay

Test to Stay
Posted on 11/09/2021
Test to Stay

Keeping students and staff safe and in school is our top priority. We have learned a great deal over the past year, and our current guidance and procedures reflect the most updated recommendations from the Washington Department of Health and Clallam County Health. This message is about a ‘Test to Stay’ program we have implemented in partnership with Clallam County Health. 

Previously, unvaccinated students or staff who were close contacts of positive Covid cases were required to quarantine. The Test to Stay program provides a modified quarantine under specific conditions to attend academic instruction. Students who may have been exposed while in school but are not showing symptoms can test and stay to reduce missed academic instruction. It is important to note that a student in a modified quarantine may not participate in sports or other before/after school activities. Attendance for academic instruction is allowed under Test to Stay guidelines because participation in academic instruction is lower risk than before/after school activities and sports. Students exposed outside of school (i.e. household exposure, private sports league exposure, etc.) are not eligible to participate in this program. They need to quarantine for the full 10 days, as directed by the Clallam County Health Department.

Students only participate in rapid testing while at school with permission from a parent or guardian. The Port Angeles School District has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Clallam County Health that specifies the following details/requirements of the Test to Stay program:

  • Obtain parent permission for any students participating in Test to Stay
  • Unvaccinated students at Port Angeles School District who are exposed to COVID-19 in school may continue to attend class in a modified quarantine for 7 days after the exposure provided the following parameters are set:
    • The student(s) must be tested every 2-3 days during the 7 day modified quarantine. The suggested testing pattern is 2-3 days post-exposure and 4-5 days post-exposure.
    • The student(s) must test negative
    • The student(s) must remain fully asymptomatic
    • The student(s) must continue to fully mask and distance where instructed to do so.
    • The student(s) must continue to quarantine from ALL extracurricular activities at school, including sports and other activities outside their home, for the entirety of their modified quarantine period. This includes group childcare or youth development programs provided before or after school, which students should not attend during modified quarantine

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine at home for ten days since symptoms appeared or ten days since the positive test before returning to school. The student must also be without a fever for 24 hours.

As previously shared, vaccination, universal masking, and physical distancing help reduce the number of quarantines. You can find the consent form for Covid Testing/Test to Stay here. We encourage families to complete the consent form and return it to their school nurse. If you have any questions, please get in touch with your school nurse or contact Rachel Summers in Special Services by emailing: RSummers@portangelesschools.org.

Our goal is that these measures will work and keep our schools safe and your student in the classroom. Thank you so much for being supportive during this ever-changing climate.