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COVID-19 School Testing: FAQS for Parents
Do you have questions about the free COVID-19 Testing Program at East Irondequoit?
Below are answers to questions you may have.
What is the COVID-19 Testing Program?
East Irondequoit’s COVID-19 Testing Program offers free, regular testing to students and staff for COVID-19. Regular testing means that testing is offered to everyone on a regular basis, even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19.
Why is our school testing for COVID-19?
Regular testing is a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools open for in-person learning. Many people with COVID-19, especially children and teens, don’t have symptoms but can still spread the virus, so regular testing helps find infections before they can spread to others. This is especially important for children under 12 years old who are not yet able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, families and staff with younger children at home, and others who are not vaccinated or are otherwise at risk for getting seriously sick from COVID-19. Regular testing will help us keep students in the classroom and allow students to take part in the other activities they love.
Does my child have to get tested to attend school in person?
No, COVID-19 tests are optional, although strongly encouraged. If you choose not to enroll your child in the program, they can still attend school in-person. Students will not be tested without both the student and guardian giving their consent.
How will the school protect my child’s privacy?
Testing results will be shared only for public health purposes, which may include notifying close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and taking other steps to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in your school community. Information sharing and notifying of contacts will be done in a way that protects your child’s privacy. Sharing of information about your child will only be done in accordance with applicable law and policies protecting student privacy and the security of your child’s data.
How the Program Works
How will the testing be done?
The COVID-19 tests will be free, quick, and easy. We will use a viral test, known as an antigen (rapid) test, which returns a result in as little as 15 minutes. This test will tell if your child has a current COVID-19 infection, regardless of whether they have symptoms.
How is the test given?
The test will involve a nasal swab. It is a quick and easy test. This nasal test gently swabs the inner part of the lower nostril. The test is not painful. We do not use the longer swabs that reach higher into the nose.
When and where will the test be given?
Our school’s testing site will be conducted by the school nurse.
How much does the test cost?
The COVID-19 tests will be free to students and staff. You will never receive a bill, and your insurance will not be charged.
Will my child miss class to get tested?
No, testing shouldn’t interfere with your child’s school schedule. The test is quick and easy, and students will be able to fit the test into their day without disrupting learning.
When will we know the results of the test?
The results of the test should be available in less than 30 minutes.
Is the test reliable?
Tests can show a false negative or false positive, but most test results are useful and give families the information they need. Sometimes—depending on the type of test and other factors—more testing to confirm a result may be recommended.
What if my child tests positive?
We will ask you to keep your child home. You will be asked to provide information about your child’s close contacts so that everyone who has been exposed can be notified. We will be in touch to discuss medical care and other support for your child and family.
What if someone in my child’s school tests positive?
If your child was exposed to someone who has COVID-19, we will be in touch to discuss what actions to take. A COVID-19 test will tell us what further preventive actions are needed.
CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination providers near you.