As a result of being awarded a KDHE testing grant, USD 320 is able to offer Covid testing to our students and staff beginning Thursday, Sept. 2. Staffing the center and doing the testing will be Mrs. Lorriel Dover and Mrs. Nichole Lattimer; both of whom are Registered Nurses.
The USD 320 Covid Test Center is located at 1004 Poplar which has been, among other things, the Home Video Store. The Test Center will be open M-F, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. There may be limited Saturday hours, and if so, they will be announced. There is limited parking in front of the building, and we must be VERY careful to not park in, or block, the driveway on the south side of the building as it is a residential driveway. The Heartland Food Store has graciously agreed to allow for additional Test Site parking on the east side of their parking lot, closest to the Street.
The Test Site will offer Covid Testing services in the following two areas:
TEST TO KNOW:
A person who has symptoms and wants to know if they have Covid can be tested at the Center. For this, we are asking that a symptomatic person not enter the building but call into the center (785-458-7833) and a tester will come outside to you. If the test is positive, isolation for 10 days will be necessary and close contacts identified.
TEST TO STAY:
#1. A student or staff member who has been identified as a close contact, but is NOT a family close contact, typically has to quarantine at home for 10 days. However, by testing daily with an antigen test, they can avoid the “at home” quarantine. Each day their test returns with a negative result, the student or staff member can attend school and go to work. Each day a test is negative, the student or staff member will be given an “admit slip” that will allow them to attend school. Antigen test results are good for 24 hours.
#2. A student or staff member who IS a close family contact usually has to quarantine for 20 days due to an inability to completely isolate from the infected family member. HOWEVER, if the family member IS able to completely isolate (separate bedroom, bathroom, not sharing any spaces), the close contact’s quarantine is ten days. Just like #1 above, the close contact can test daily and each day a test is negative, the student or staff member may attend school or go to work. If they test negative each day for the ten days, they are out of quarantine at the end of the 10th day so long as the isolation at home is maintained. The student or staff member will be given an “admit slip” each day they test negative that will allow them to attend school or go to work. Antigen test results are good for 24 hours.
#3 A student or staff member who is a close family contact has to quarantine for 20 days if they are not able to separate from the infected family member. However, when the person who tested positive has left isolation at the end of day 10, the close contact, if not symptomatic, can begin daily testing on day 11 and return to school or work each day through day 20 if the daily tests are negative. The student or staff member will be given an “admit slip” each day they test negative that will allow them to attend school or go to work. Antigen test results are good for 24 hours.
NOTE: to be valid, a completed antigen test must set for a full 15 minutes before being read.
#4. There is a fourth option to “test out” of quarantine, and this one can lead to quarantine ending on day #8 instead of #10. This option also requires daily antigen testing AND the use of a PCR kit. It works this way: daily testing with the antigen test will take place on school days 1-5 (or 11-15 if on a 20-day quarantine). On Day 6 (or 16) an antigen test can be taken AND a PCR kit administered. The PCR is sent to a lab for testing.
If the student or staff wishes to test on Day 7(or 17) to continue to attend school or go to work while awaiting the results of the PCR kit, they may do so. If on day 8 (or 18) the results of the PCR test return negative, the quarantine is over.
At this point in time, the PCR kits we will be utilizing require the use of saliva. They will NOT be administered by the test center personnel but are to be completed at home and sent to the lab via FedEx (prepaid). There is a FedEx drop-off at the Dollar General store. As in the other situations, the student or staff member will be given an “admit slip” each day they test negative that will allow them to attend school or go to work.
The County Health Department is responsible for determining the beginning and ending dates of quarantines and isolations.
In summary, this testing program is ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY. It is being offered as a service to our students and staff to help them stay in school and on the job. A consent form is required to take part in the testing program. It must be completed and signed by the person being tested, or by a parent/guardian if the student is under age 18. The student or staff member who takes part in the Test-to-Stay program must also agree to these additional KDHE requirements which are part of the consent form:
*wear a mask while in school during the period of daily testing.
* participate in contact tracing if a positive test is recorded.
*allow the results of their tests to be reported to the KDHE.
*and not ride in school transportation until a negative result is received.
There will undoubtedly be some confusion, questions, and “kinks” to be worked out as the processes and procedures are put into motion. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work through the process. We believe this will be a great help and benefit to our students, staff, schools, and community families.
Below is a link to the Student Covid Test Information sheet and a Student Test Consent form. Information sheets and consent forms are also available at the Test Site.