Rebecca Lohr, BSN, RN, CSN
412-646-1718 ext. 7007
OPERATION EXPANDED TESTING
Our school has chosen to participate in Operation Expanded Testing, a program supported and funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide COVID-19 testing to schools at no cost to the student or their families. Participation in this program helps to ensure that schools stay safe against the risk and spread of COVID-19. We highly recommend participation in this free testing program. The more diligent we are about monitoring and controlling the occurrences of COVID-19 the more chances we have of mitigating the spread and continuing to be in an in-person learning environment. Which we all know is the very best case scenario for our students.
This program will help to keep students safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 via on-site testing for students and staff. This program is designed by a team of highly skilled trainers who will guide designated staff members on how to collect samples. We hope that this program will be fully ready to roll out beginning in October 2020. The plan will be to divide the population of the school into 5 groups and members of each group will be tested on an assigned day each week. This will give us weekly testing of the entire school population. The results will be made available to the administration quickly and this will allow us to make real time decisions that will best keep everyone safe.
To opt into the program, please visit the following site: Link to register child for testing. This registration process takes less than 5 minutes. For a short video guide on “how to” complete the registration/consent, activate your child’s online account to view results: View Video Here
If you would like a paper copy of the parental consent form, please contact your school.
Students whose parents/guardians decide to opt-out of the program and who are not tested at the same frequency as the rest of the school will be required to follow other guidance or rules set by the school administration. Please check with your school to find out more information.
We are strongly encouraging everyone to enroll in the free program. If you would like to enroll your student for the free testing program, please use the above link to complete the enrollment by October 1, 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who will do the testing?
School staff will manage the testing process. If students are over the age of 13, they can swab themselves with adult supervision. Staff will perform the swab collection for children under the age of 12.
What type of test is being used?
Collections are done with what is called a lower anterior nasal swab, which is a collection swab about the size of a Q-tip that is placed just into the lower part of the nose and swirled around 3 times to collect the sample. This approach is much more comfortable and is not the collection method where the swab is placed deep into the nose.
How do I see my child’s results?
The methods being used include pooling, which means that several tests are combined into a single specimen and that specimen is processed as one sample. This dramatically increases the ability to tests large numbers of people in shorter time frames. If your child is part of a pool that does not detect COVID-19, then you will not get an individual result (but the school will be notified that the pool sample was negative). If there is a risk that someone in the pool might have had COVID-19 and therefore every swab in the pool needs to be processed individually, then you will get a result posted in the Assure platform. You can set up your account preferences to send you a text message or an email when a new result is available if you want, otherwise, we recommend logging into the system periodically to check results. Your school will also be monitoring results for all students so they can help make appropriate choices based on the results of testing. For a short video guide on “how to” complete the registration/consent, activate your child’s online account to view results: View Video Here
Who has access to my child’s information?
The consent form indicates that test results will be shared with the school and appropriate local, state and federal oversight committees responsible for tracking and reporting COVID-19 cases. This includes Affinity Empowering and the lab, Eurofins, as well as any other laboratories used to process samples. The information received is the information that your school needs to help identify the individual testing. Affinity and the lab do not receive medical information from medical records, so we only have access to the information that is provided to us for the purpose of testing. Further information is outlined in the consent form.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school at 412-646-1718.