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The East Greenbush Central School District began COVID-19 surveillance testing for student athletes on February 17 and has found zero positive cases out of more than 100 tests. The new testing program is not required for high school sports, but the district is taking a proactive approach to reduce the risk of any potential community spread.

School nurses administered 111 total tests to student athletes from Basketball, Competitive Cheer and Indoor Track over the past two weeks.

Sport Week 1
Number of Tests
Week 2
Number of Tests
Positive Cases
Basketball (Boys) 13 14 0
Basketball (Girls) 10 10 0
Competitive Cheer 9 8 0
Indoor Track (Boys and Girls) 22 25 0
Total 54 57 0

“We are very pleased to see that this trial run of COVID testing in our schools resulted in no positive cases,” said Superintendent Jeff Simons. “The school nurses and testing personnel are doing a great job.”

The district is utilizing the 1,600 antigen tests that were procured for the state’s micro-cluster testing program, however, the state has not implemented that requirement so the district is using the tests before they expire in April.

The test kits, which were made available by Questar III BOCES, involve a non-invasive nasal swab swiping just inside the lowermost portion of the nostril. School nurses dressed in full PPE administer the tests which produce results in 15 minutes. Parents must give consent for their children to be tested.

The district will continue to conduct surveillance testing of student athletes on a weekly basis.

Mr. Simons indicated that this testing model could be used in the future for other extracurricular activities or on a larger scale to increase in-person learning for students.

“I would support adding a surveillance testing program across each of our schools if the state made enough tests available to us and, if in combination with other modifications to the state regulations, it enabled schools to bring in more students,” said Mr. Simons. “Adding such a testing program to our strict health and safety guidelines would help make our schools even safer and could help bring back more of our students for in-person instruction.”