By testing 5% of our students, faculty and staff on a weekly basis, the District can more effectively monitor for the presence of COVID-19 in our school community and minimize the risk that asymptomatic individuals who test positive will spread the virus to others. Covid-19 surveillance testing of asymptomatic students, faculty and staff is one of several strategies to safely bring more students back for in-person instruction.
The scheduling of on-site COVID-19 surveillance tests will begin on or about April 12 and continue on a weekly basis, with a different 5% of our students, faculty, and staff tested each week. Once a person is tested the first time, he/she will not be tested again until all participants have been tested at least once.
The COVID-19 surveillance tests administered by the District are only for asymptomatic students, faculty and staff and are not meant for individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. To participate in the COVID-19 surveillance testing program, parents of students, as well as faculty and staff, must complete a COVID-19 consent form. When participants voluntarily consent to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing, they agree that:
- The results will be shared with the department of health, as required.
- Consent is valid for the 2020-21 school year.
- Testing may occur more than once during the school year.
- Parents, faculty, and staff may revoke consent at any time.
Information collected in the consent form is required by the New York State Department of Health for the District to participate in the free COVID-19 surveillance testing.
No, participation in COVID-19 surveillance testing is voluntary and students are not required to participate in testing to return to school. However, the more students who participate, the more effective the monitoring for the presence of COVID-19 in our school community will be.
In order to use the free test kits provided by the New York State Department of Health, the District is required to collect and report demographic data about participants, including information about participants' race and ethnicity. Information about test participants is confidential and will only be shared with the Department of Health.
The New York State Department of Health is providing BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen test kits at no cost to the District to conduct Covid-19 surveillance testing. This is a minimally invasive nasal swab test that requires swabbing the inside of both nostrils (not the deep nasal swab test). Tests results are available in 15 minutes. While rapid antigen tests are not as reliable as molecular PCR tests for detecting the virus, they have proven effective to screen asymptomatic individuals.
For individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, a molecular PCR test is still required to confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis. Molecular PCR tests are not provided by the District but can be obtained from health care providers (e.g., physicians or walk-in clinics).
If a COVID-19 surveillance test result is positive, the school nurse will give the participant the WCDOH isolation guidelines (English/Spanish/Japanese) and instruct them to go home and begin isolating immediately and contact his/her physician to seek a molecular PCR test to confirm the test results.
The BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen test produces results within 15 minutes, and participants will be confidentially informed of the results as soon as they are available.
School district nurses will administer the tests and interpret the results. Our school nurses hold registered nursing licenses, the same credential as a nurse in a doctor’s office or hospital setting, and they have been trained in the process to administer the test and read the results under the direction of our school district physician.
The District is required to report the results to the Westchester County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health. Precautions are taken to ensure the confidentiality of the test results. The District will consult with the Westchester County Department of Health to determine action steps that may be required based on the positivity rates that result from the COVID-19 surveillance testing.
You may contact Susan Crane, the District’s School Nurse Coordinator at email@example.com, 914-793-6130 ext 5111, or the individual school building principal.
- Eastchester High School Nurse: Lisa Massi, Ext. 4243
- Eastchester Middle School Nurse: Geri Burke, Ext 4218
- Waverly School: Kristy Lozina, Ext 5509
- Greenvale School: Lisa Grillo, Ext 5313
- Anne Hutchinson School: Susan Crane, Ext 5509
Additional Contact Information:
Dr. Robert Glass, Superintendent of Schools, Ext 4201
Dr. Noreen Urso, Assistant Superintendent of PPS, Ext 4239
Based on the consent that parents, faculty and staff have provided, a random sample of participants will be selected to participate in testing each week. Parents, faculty and staff will receive an email several days before the testing is scheduled to occur with more details (e.g., date, time, location, etc.).