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New COVID-19 Testing Guidelines for Schools from CCHD
On October 13, 2021, the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) updated its guidance for schools on whether symptomatic students need to have a confirmatory PCR test if they received a negative result on a rapid antigen test. If a student is symptomatic and receives a negative rapid antigen test result, they will be clinically assessed as to the likelihood they have COVID-19 prior to receiving a PCR test. The updated CCHD guidance outlines the response to a negative antigen test.
Low Likelihood of COVID-19
If a student has a negative result on a rapid antigen test and is determined through a clinical assessment to have a LOW likelihood of COVID-19, they will not need a PCR test confirmation and may follow non-COVID-19 illness protocols regarding a return to school.
A student is considered to have a low likelihood of COVID-19 following a negative antigen test if the child:
o Has no known exposure to a person with COVID-19 within the last 14 days
o OR is fully vaccinated
o OR has had an acute COVID infection in the last 3 months
High Likelihood of COVID-19
If a student has a negative result on a rapid antigen test and is determined through a clinical assessment to have a HIGH likelihood of COVID-19, they will need a PCR test confirmation before returning to school.
A student is considered to have a high likelihood of COVID-19 following a negative antigen test if the child:
o Has had close contact with or suspected exposure to a person with COVID-19 within the last 14 days
o AND is not fully vaccinated
o AND has not had an acute COVID infection in the last 3 months
Please consult your school nurse regarding the clinical assessment of COVID-19 likelihood and the response to a rapid antigen test. This information is included in the COVID-19 Response FAQs which are available in the COVID-19 Resources section of the TESD website.
Rapid Antigen Testing Options
TESD can conduct rapid antigen testing of TESD students in response to being a close contact, or if symptomatic. We continue to use Abbott Labs BINAX NOW tests to test students and staff who are eligible. There is no cost to families or staff. Testing is being conducted in school buildings by school nurses and during school days at Conestoga High School’s Teamer Field from 11 am to 2:45 pm. In order for students and staff to be tested at Teamer Field, we need a signed consent form, and a QR code to scan to make the process efficient. You can download the consent form at this link. You may also download instructions on creating a QR code.
Weekly Assurance Testing
The District began the voluntary weekly Assurance Antigen Testing Program last week for registered students and staff members. The testing is being conducted by a third party nursing company in conjunction with the school nursing staff.
Parents and staff members should receive antigen test results via email or text message, OR they may contact their school nurse for the results of the test.
Please contact your school nurse if you have questions about rapid antigen testing or need assistance receiving assurance testing results.