HCSD Test to Stay Program
The Westchester County Department of Health County (WCDOH) has granted approval for the Harrison Central School District to implement a Test to Stay (TTS) program under Westchester County's limited services laboratory license. We are pleased our advocacy efforts helped to expedite approval of this program to ensure students remain in school for in-person learning.
The TTS program permits certain students who have been exposed to COVID-19 to remain in school by getting tested each school day during the first five (5) days of quarantine. Individuals who are eligible for the TTS program include:
Unvaccinated, asymptomatic students if they have a close contact reported by the parent, or if the school becomes aware of a close contact.
- Vaccinated, asymptomatic students who are eligible for a booster but are not yet boosted if they have a close contact reported by the parent, or if the school becomes aware of a close contact.
At-risk student populations that have close contact at school.
The District may utilize TTS in situations when an additional layer of mitigation may be warranted (i.e., a cluster of positive cases occurring in a school or classroom). The TTS protocols are dictated by WCDOH and may be subject to change as new guidance is issued. WCDOH requires the District to adhere to the TTS protocols explained in the following FAQ:
Q. Who is eligible to participate in the TTS program?
A. The District will provide rapid antigen testing for eligible participants whose parents give consent to participate in the TTS program. Parents who plan to have their child participate in the TTS program are required to complete the TTS Consent Form. The TTS program is only for asymptomatic students who have had close contact with a positive case. If a student becomes symptomatic during the TTS, even with a negative antigen test, they are no longer eligible for TTS and must be excluded from school.
Q. Can my child participate in the TTS program if their exposure occurred outside of school?
A. Yes, eligible asymptomatic students can participate in the TTS program, regardless of whether their exposure occurred in school or outside of school.
Q. What if I choose not to have my student participate in the TTS program?
A. Students who choose not participate in the TTS program will be required to quarantine for 5 days after exposure as required by WCDOH. Students who are quarantined may participate in virtual learning.
Q. Is there a fee to participate in the TTS program?
A. There is no fee for a student to participate in the TTS program.
Q. When will the daily rapid antigen test be administered?
A. The daily rapid antigen test must be conducted by the school nurse at school before the school day begins. WCDOH requires that the test to stay be administered by a licensed medical provider, and the test cannot be administered at home. The rapid antigen test will be administered each morning for five (5) days following exposure.
Q. How and where will the testing be conducted at school?
A. Upon arrival at school, the student will report directly to the school nurse for the rapid antigen test. The test used is a minimally invasive shallow nasal swab in each nostril that takes a few seconds.
Elementary students and a parent/guardian will report to the nurse’s office before the school day begins (8:15 AM) to complete the test and then wait in their car for 15 minutes while the results are processed.
Middle and high school students will report to the nurse's office before the school day begins to complete the test and then wait for 15 minutes in a designated area while the results are processed.
If the result is negative, the student will continue with their regular school day. If the test is positive, the parent will be notified and the student may not remain in school. The student will need a molecular test from a testing facility to confirm the test result, and the student will be required to isolate for five (5) days, as required by WCDOH.
Q. What if I am late bringing my child to school for the TTS program?
A. Testing associated with the TTS program will only occur before the start of the school day. If parents cannot bring their children for testing before the start of the school day, they will remain home in quarantine and may participate in virtual learning. Students may return the following school day to resume TTS.
Q. Can my child ride the bus when participating in the TTS program?
A. Students in the TTS program are not permitted to ride the morning bus. They must be driven to school and report directly to the nurse’s office to complete their daily test. Students may ride the bus home if they test negative that morning and remain asymptomatic.
Q. What if my child is identified as being exposed to COVID-19 and is notified days after the exposure date? Can they still participate in the TTS program?
A. Testing will be adjusted accordingly and students will need to test for the remaining days up to the 5th day of quarantine in order to continue to attend in-person school.
Q. What if my child was COVID-positive in the last 90 days?
A. A student who has received a lab-confirmed COVID-19 test result in the past 90 days is not required to quarantine or participate in TTS testing.
Q. What if my child develops symptoms while participating in the TTS program?
A. If the student who is allowed to remain in school through the TTS program develops COVID-19 symptoms, they must be excluded from school per current WCDOH guidance. The student will also need a molecular test from a testing facility and will need to remain home until a negative result is received, the student is fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medication, and any other symptoms are improving.
Q. Does the TTS program allow my child to participate in activities outside the school day?
A. Test to Stay does not permit a student to participate in sports or extracurricular activities such as band, chorus, theater and/or other activities outside of the school day for the duration of the 5-day quarantine period. According to WCDOH, the TTS program is meant to ensure that students can attend in-person instruction during the regular school day. A student in the TTS program must remain under quarantine outside of school.
Q. Is daily testing required on weekends and holidays?
A. Daily testing as part of the TTS program is only required on days when school is in session (weekends and holidays are excluded). Tests will not be administered on weekends or holidays.
Q. What happens if my child has another exposure to a positive case while participating in the TTS program?
A. If a student in the TTS program is exposed to a new COVID-19 case, the “five-day clock” restarts from the date of the most recent exposure.
Q. What happens after my child tests negative for seven (7) days?
A. For students who test negative on day 5:
- Testing is no longer required through the TTS program for this exposure.
- Once the quarantine order is lifted, the student should continue to self-monitor (or monitor by the parent) for COVID-19 symptoms through day 14.
- If the student develops symptoms on days 8-14, the student should isolate and follow NYS school guidance for returning to school.
- Students may resume riding the school bus to and from school.
Q. Can my child get a negative COVID-19 test to be released from quarantine?
A. WCDOH does NOT permit individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 to test out of quarantine. The TTS program is the only option that WCDOH has approved to permit unvaccinated, asymptomatic students to remain in school following a COVID-19 exposure.