FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The day after the district put a school on remote learning to head off a school-wide COVID outbreak, Fayette County Public Schools announced details of its test-and-stay program.
The district and its Core COVID-19 team finalized the plan during a day of meetings Tuesday.
Two middle schools and five elementary schools will participate in the district’s pilot of a voluntary test to stay quarantine option under the observation and support of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Other partners in this effort are the Kentucky Department of Public Health, Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and Gravity Diagnostics
District staff will communicate with families at these seven school to share specific protocols, consent forms and frequently asked questions.
At participating schools, students who are identified as a close contact to a positive patient will have the option – with family consent – to come to the testing location, generally the gym or cafeteria of the school, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during their quarantine period and wait for testing.
The tests that are being used are rapid PCR tests that will take 30-45 minutes to process.
Once the results are known, students who test negative will proceed to class. Those who test positive will be sent home and will need to isolate for the duration of their contagious period.
The district said it selected schools on the basis of COVID-19 cases and quarantines at the time it began the program. It also tried to select schools in different areas of town, in order to get a good population sample.
The program is being piloted to determine if it will be expanded to additional schools.
The program is only for elementary and middle schools right now, since most students in those buildings are not eligible for vaccinations. At the high school level, students have the option of getting vaccinated so that they will not have to quarantine unless they display symptoms of COVID-19.
The district also said it is “excited to welcome three new bus drivers and one new substitute driver.”
According to its update, the district which has 42,000 students and 8,000 staff, reported 337 new student COVID cases and 38 new staff cases between Sept. 7 and Sept. 13 with 1,484 new student quarantines and one new staff quarantine.
As of September 14, 2021, 1,361 students and no employees were in quarantine.