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VOLUNTARY TEST TO STAY PROGRAM
As the Upper Merion Area School District continues to navigate the pandemic, we continue to seek ways to maximize student attendance in school while protecting the overall health and safety of the school community. The District is rolling out a Test to Stay Program (TTS) for students who are unvaccinated, asymptomatic close contacts to a positive COVID-19 case which is aimed at reducing missed instruction for students who would otherwise be required to quarantine after a close contact exposure to COVID-19.
The Test to Stay Program is approved by the Montgomery County Department of Health. Students identified as close contacts, who have a consent form on file, will be offered free, voluntary, rapid antigen testing. Provided results are negative and students are asymptomatic, students will be permitted to remain in school rather than being asked to quarantine at home.
Our Health Suites are prepared to implement the Test to Stay Program beginning on December 7, 2021. To enroll in the Upper Merion TTS Program, click this link:
Please submit ONE (1) consent form for EACH student you wish to have participate in the TTS Program. If you do NOT wish to be part of this voluntary program, no action is necessary and you DO NOT need to submit the form. However, please note that should a parent choose not to have their child(ren) participate in the Voluntary TTS Program, that child will be subject to quarantine in accordance with exclusion recommendations as outlined by the Montgomery County Office of Public Health.
Registration also requires a unique QR code for your child which can be created here:
FAQ Regarding the Voluntary Test to Stay Program (TTS)
1.) What does this mean?
- This means that students who are identified as a close contact and are not vaccinated and have no symptoms can participate in antigen testing. Students can remain in school to receive education and participate in a ‘modified’ quarantine which allows in school education but no outside/after school extracurriculars.
2.) How often must a Close Contact test?
- Individuals should receive their initial antigen test within 24 hours of notification of exposure, with additional testing every other day during the required 7-day quarantine period.
- Students must receive a minimum of one test between days 5 and 7 after exposure in order to be released from TTS on day 8.
- If school is not in session on days 5-7, students must receive their final test on the next school day to be released from TTS.
- If school is not in session and the last tests cannot be collected after day 10 of exposure, a test is not necessary.
- All close contacts are asked to report to the nurse suite upon arrival to school on testing days
3.) Who can participate?
- Any student that is unvaccinated, not experiencing symptoms, and has consent from a parent/guardian.
4.) Who is NOT eligible to participate?
- Students that are household close contact (which means someone living in his/her home is the positive case of COVID)
- Students that are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 following a close contact with a positive case
- Students who were exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 outside of the school setting
5.) What happens if the close contact tests positive?
- If the close contacts test positive during the Test to Stay Timeline, that student must then quarantine for 10 days following the date of the positive test.
6.) What do parents need to do for a child to participate? Is there a Consent Process?
- Parents must sign consent and register with a QR code for each individual child using the links above.
7.) How do I obtain a QR Code?
- Click https://register.pennrapidtest.org/ or enter this url into your web browser (the app is not compatible with Internet Explorer but should work on most other web browsers).
- Follow instructions to create a personalized QR code.
- Take a screengrab of the QR code and store it in your device; or, cut/paste the screen grab onto a Word .doc, and print it out.
8.) What if a parent does not want a child to participate?
- If a parent does not want a child to participate in the Voluntary Test to Stay Program, that child will have to quarantine in accordance with Exclusion Recommendations outlined in the Montgomery County Office of Public Health.
9.) What about athletics?
- The TTS program is for educational purposes only and does not apply to athletics or other extracurricular activities. If someone is a close contact, they must avoid all athletics and extracurricular activities until they test negative between days 5-7 and can return on day 8.