Steuben County Health Department adopts “test to stay” COVID-19 strategy for local schools

Corning Bureau

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BATH, N.Y. (WETM) – The Steuben County Public Health Department has approved the “Test to Stay” (TTS) strategy allowed by the New York State Department of Health for county schools. 

Under this policy, asymptomatic students and non-vaccinated staff that are quarantined as a result of contact with a positive individual will be allowed to attend school as long as they test negative each day for seven days following exposure.

Fully vaccinated asymptomatic individuals do not get quarantined.  These procedures do not apply to individuals that have tests positive for COVID. 

Rapid NAAT or antigen tests will be provided by Steuben Public Health to schools that choose to participate in TTS.  Only asymptomatic students and non-vaccinated staff are eligible for TTS and will be tested each school morning for seven days.  Symptomatic quarantined students and staff must be excluded from school. 

“We have had many discussions with school superintendents this year who are concerned with the number of students who have missed instruction time due to quarantine,” said Public Health Director, Darlene Smith.  “Test to stay offers an option for asymptomatic students and staff to remain in school as safely as possible.” 

Exposed students and staff must remain quarantined when not in school and are not allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.  Quarantined asymptomatic students and staff may only go from home to school and back during their quarantine. 

Students and staff will be tested in the morning before entering the classroom and quarantined students are not permitted to ride the school bus in the morning to curb potential exposure. 

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