Kentucky Department of Public Health Releases SB 1 Guidance on Test to Stay

During the recent 2021 General Assembly Special Session, Senate Bill 1 was enacted to address various public school operations that have been impacted by the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic. In Section 4 of SB 1, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) was directed to develop a COVID-19 “Test to Stay” model plan that may be implemented by school districts – in whole or in part – to minimize the impact of quarantining non-symptomatic students, allowing them to stay in the classroom.

DPH has released “COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools,” dated Sept. 17, 2021, which includes “Test To Stay.” A school district’s local health department shall provide assistance in implementing a school district’s test to stay plan or any other local school board-approved COVID-19 plan for masking, contract tracing and quarantining, including the location and procurement of resources. The DPH shall provide support to the local health departments in assisting the school districts.

Test to stay is not a separate program or model, rather it is a form of diagnostic screening under the normal K-12 testing program. Test to stay is a “modified quarantine” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

When a student identifies as positive through outside testing or is identified as positive through the screening program, those who are identified as “close contacts” (per CDC definition) have one of three choices:

  • Quarantine at home for 10 days, monitoring for symptoms and returning to normal activities after day 10 if asymptomatic, no test required.
  • Quarantine at home for 7 days, testing on day 5 and returning to normal activities on day 8, if negative test and asymptomatic the entire time.
  • Quarantine at home for 7 days, and participate in test to stay, testing each day via rapid antigen or every other day via PCR. The student must remain asymptomatic. If each sequential test is negative, then the individual is allowed into the classroom for school each day of modified quarantine. However, they MUST remain in normal quarantine at all other times outside the classroom, wear a mask when outside of the home and conduct continuous daily monitoring for symptoms. Test to stay is ONLY ALLOWED for classroom exposures.

Questions regarding test to stay should be emailed to Jim Alford or he can be reached by phone at (270) 291-2330

Get more information by reading K-12 School COVID Testing Program (Update).

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