‘Test to Stay’ program expands to every elementary and middle school in Fayette County

The optional program allows students exposed to COVID-19 in school to stay in class under certain conditions

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The ‘Test to Stay’ program is now available at every elementary and middle school in the Fayette County Public School system, according to Superintendent Demetrus Liggins.

The school district developed the “Test to Stay” in School program in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kentucky Department of Health, and the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department in order to reduce the amount of instruction missed by students due to quarantines.

This option allows students who are exposed to the virus in school-related settings to continue to attend classes if:

  • They are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and
  • They test negative during free on-campus testing before school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Fully-vaccinated students who are exposed to COVID-19 in a school-related setting and are not experiencing any symptoms do not have to quarantine, according to the district.  Students are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received their second dose of the vaccine.

More information, including Frequently Asked Questions and details about the “Test to Stay” program, are available in English and the seven other most frequently spoken languages for families at www.fcps.net/test2stay.

All families with students in elementary and middle school should have received an email Tuesday morning with links to an electronic consent form to opt into this program. If you did not receive an email, you can fill out the online consent form here or download a paper version and return it to your child’s school, according to the district.

Fayette County says its goal is to maximize the amount of time students are able to learn in-person at school with classmates and caring adults.

Commissioner of Health, Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, shared with the district that the rolling seven-day average of new cases in Fayette County was 68 on Tuesday, but cautioned that the number was impacted by closures over the holiday weekend. Humbaugh noted that the state positivity rate has risen and there are indications that cases are starting to tick upward.

He also shared that the Health Department is beginning to receive official reports of flu cases in Fayette County and encouraged everyone to get a flu shot if they haven’t already.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is providing first and second doses of the FREE Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11 years at a special clinic from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at Consolidated Baptist Church, 1625 Russell Cave Road. Registration is required; walk-ins will not be accepted. A legal guardian must be present at the time of the shot.

FCPS has partnered with Wild Health to offer free vaccination clinics from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at school locations.

Register here for clinics to be held on:

Wednesday, Dec. 1 at:

  • Coventry Oak Elementary, 2441 Huntly Place
  • Tates Creek Elementary, 1111 Centre Pkwy.

Thursday, Dec. 2. at:

  • Athens-Chilesburg Elementary, 930 Jouett Creek Drive
  • Wellington Elementary, 3280 Keithshire Way

The district’s COVID-19 case and quarantine report for Nov. 9-15, 2021, shots 64 new student cases, four new staff cases, 212 new student quarantines and 4 new staff quarantines.

As of Nov. 16, 2021, 127 students and six employees were in quarantine, according to the district.

Here is the Fayette County Public Schools COVID-19 Team Update from its Nov. 30, 2021 meeting:

School Bus Driver Shortage: Over the past few months, we have kept our community informed about efforts to address the school bus driver shortage, which have included new recruitment strategies, higher salaries for bus drivers, attendance incentive pay, and a prescheduled rotation of bus cancellations. The district has also explored sharing drivers with other agencies that employ individuals with a CDL license, adding a fourth tier of school start times, and contracting with outside vendors.

We are excited to share that the Fayette County Board of Education will consider an additional strategy this month that has worked successfully in other school districts in the country. Under the proposal, the district would contract with the National Association of Pupil Transportation Collaborative to provide van service for students on some of the routes that serve smaller groups of riders. As required under state law, all drivers will be required to go through the same background check process as district employees and contractors, and all vehicles will be fully equipped with proper safety features.

If approved by the school board, this pilot program would start with a few carefully identified routes in January and be monitored to ensure we are providing high-quality and safe service to our students and families.

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