"Test to Stay" Information and FAQs

"Test to Stay" Information and FAQ's
Posted on 12/07/2021
"Test to Stay" Information and FAQ's

Greetings EPSD9 Parents and Families,

The Oregon Department of Education released an announcement on Tuesday, November 23rd, releasing the launch of the New Protocols for "Test to Stay" for Oregon Schools.

The news release states:

"Test to Stay" allows students to attend school in person as well as extracurricular activities (with certain restrictions), as long as they test negative. "Test to Stay" allows students and staff to participate in in-person learning as safely as possible while lessening the burden of quarantine on students and their families, teachers and school administrators.

"We know the critical importance that school attendance has on student success,” ODE Director, Colt Gill, said, “Using "Test to Stay" as part of a layered set of protocols in schools will keep students and educators in classrooms, maximizing days spent in school learning, growing and thriving. It’s important to remember that if an individual is vaccinated and exposed to COVID-19, they do not have to take a COVID-19 test to stay in school or quarantine.”

How "Test to Stay" Works

  • "Test to Stay" is available only for unvaccinated, asymptomatic individuals who were exposed in indoor and outdoor school settings where universal masking is fully in place. Indoors and outdoor exposures are reviewed for proximity and duration of exposure. (within 6 feet of the positive case without a mask for a cumulative 15 minutes a day)  "Test to Stay" may not be used following  exposures during sports because masking in these settings is optional and the risk of transmission within the cohort is greater. Similarly, "Test to Stay" may not be used following community or in-home exposures.

  • "Test to Stay" allows unvaccinated individuals to be tested twice during the 7 days following exposure. First, as soon as the exposure has been identified, with a second test occurring between days 5-7 following the exposure.

  • "Test to Stay" is a form of modified quarantine, which allows individuals to attend school during their 7-day quarantine period if they test negative and have no COVID symptoms. However, individuals participating in "Test to Stay" are expected to maintain quarantine outside of classroom settings as well.

  • Students and staff participating in "Test to Stay" may participate in school-related extracurricular activities during their 7-day quarantine period but must wear face coverings at all times during these activities.

The "Test to Stay" protocol is an option available to all Oregon schools to administer. Tests are offered at no cost to participants. Student participation requires the permission of a parent or guardian. Here is a copy of that form. Close contact students and staff have the option of following LPHA recommendation for length of quarantine if their family does not want to participate in "Test to Stay."

Why is Test to Stay only used in a school setting?

The Oregon Department of Education shared the following statement.  

“Test to Stay” is available for students who were exposed to COVID-19 at school.  This is because at school, mitigation layers were in place such as physical distancing, mask use, and more.  Whereas when COVID-19 exposures take place outside of school, we are unaware of safety protocols being in place.  We also know that the majority of COVID0-19 exposures are occurring outside of the school environment. While students exposed to COVID-19 not at school may still have to quarantine, LPHA’s are moving toward a “return on day eight” model where quarantined students that test negative twice within 7 days may return to school on day eight, as opposed to a ten or fourteen day quarantine, or perhaps longer.  We want all students who are exposed to COVID-19 to have the option to test for the safety of themselves and others.”

ODE Test to Stay FAQs

What Does This Mean for EPSD9? 

1. Test to stay can ONLY be used for those who are asymptomatic and were exposed while at school, not during community or in-home settings away from the school day. Students participating in sports are not eligible to test to stay--because masking is not required in sports. 

2. Unvaccinated staff/students can be tested as soon as the "at-school exposure" has been identified. Testing will take place at school using the BinaxNOW Test. EPSD9 must have written parental consent to administer the test; with a second test occurring at school between days 5-7 following the exposure. This allows students to remain at school during their modified quarantine period.

Here are the links to the English and Spanish testing consent forms. 

COVID-19 Testing Consent form 

Formulario de consentimiento para la prueba de COVID-19