Increased Access to COVID Testing Now Available

Increased Access to COVID Testing Now Available
Posted on 11/05/2021
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Royal School District is increasing access to COVID-19 testing options in our community! One way to keep our schools safe and open is to offer free COVID tests to students, staff, and household members. Illness due to COVID and/or close contact exposure can add up to a lot of missed days. Additionally, a lack of access to COVID testing in our community can make it difficult, often resulting in families needing to travel for testing. Thanks to the Washington State “Learn to Return” program, Royal School District has more testing options available.

Royal School District's COVID response team is trained and available to test staff, students, and families. Testing is available to any staff or student who may have been exposed to COVID. This is a community-based program provided at no cost. Rapid antigen tests are provided as self-administered, shallow nasal swabs. Test results are available 15 minutes after testing.

An Option – Not a Requirement

COVID testing for students and staff is an option, not a requirement. All testing is voluntary, and we will never test a student without parental consent. To make it easier and faster to get a COVID test, we have a single consent form that can be used for the entire school year. The consent form may be downloaded HERE or filled out at the school.

Testing Options:

All COVID-19 testing provided through Royal School District is free, voluntary, and self-administered via shallow nasal swabs.

RSD is offering drive-through diagnostic testing from 3:30-4:30 PM, Monday-Friday, at Royal Middle School. This testing is available to all students and staff who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms. In-school testing also may be offered as an option for students who are symptomatic and need to be sent home.

If a student has been exposed to COVID while in school or during a school event and is not experiencing symptoms, the Test to Stay program offers the possibility of a modified quarantine. Our district is partnering with DOH and the Grant County Health District to offer the Test to Stay program, which removes barriers for students to access testing. Previously, students who were identified as close contacts and were non-symptomatic were required to quarantine at home. The goal of Test to Stay is to allow students who are identified as close contacts to remain in school, as long as they are symptom free and test negative for COVID-19.

The “Test to Stay” program has strict protocols to which both students and families must agree. Students who were exposed while in school or during a school related event may continue to attend class in a modified quarantine status for 7 days after exposure, if they:

  • Are tested at least twice* during the 7 days of quarantine; AND
  • Are asymptomatic; AND
  • Continue to wear a mask; AND
  • Continue to quarantine from (i.e., not participate in) all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and other activities outside their home (e.g. scouts, music lessons, etc.) for the entirety of their modified quarantine period. This includes group childcare or youth development programs provided before and after school, which should not be attended during modified quarantine.

In School “Test to Stay” will be available at each of our 4 school buildings before school from 7:45-8:30 AM. This is an optional program that is completely voluntary and that requires parent/legal guardian consent for students under the age of 18. The Test to Stay program only applies to keeping students in school. It does not apply to after-school athletics or activities. Students in these programs will need to continue to follow close contact quarantine guidelines.

Increased COVID testing, combined with disease prevention strategies, can help our schools detect new cases to prevent outbreaks, reduce the risk of further transmission, and protect students and staff. Testing is recommended 5-7 days after an individual's last day of close contact to a positive COVID case, or if symptoms are present. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact Janna Benzel at 509-346-2226.