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Point of Care testing machine

Every school has been equipped with a rapid molecular testing machine for Point of Care testing.

As part of a continued effort to prioritize the health and safety of students and staff while maintaining in-person learning, the East Greenbush Central School District will begin Point of Care testing for COVID-19 in all schools starting Monday, December 13.

As part of this testing program, if a student develops COVID-19 symptoms during the school day, they can visit the Health Office and be tested for COVID-19.

Point of Care testing will be conducted using rapid molecular tests in which a small swab is inserted into the front of the nose. This will provide a quick result in the case of a student who begins presenting symptoms while at school. Point of Care testing is being implemented in accordance with NYSDOH regulations dated September 2, 2021.

Only students who have parent consent may be tested for COVID-19 at school. A testing consent form was emailed to all parents on October 12, 2021. Parents who have not given consent and would like to can download the COVID-19 Testing Consent Form and submit it to their child’s health office.

Point of Care Testing Process:

  • If a student begins presenting symptoms at school, regardless of vaccination status, they can be tested for COVID-19 in the Health Office.
  • Parent consent is required for testing.
    • If the student’s parent has not consented to Point of Care testing, the student presenting COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home and must have a negative test result (PCR or rapid molecular) or alternate diagnosis from a physician before returning to school.
    • If the student’s parent has consented to Point of Care testing, the student will be tested for COVID-19.
      • If a student tests positive for COVID-19:
        • A parent/guardian will be called to come pick them up from school. The student must remain at home until further notice.
        • The school will inform the Rensselaer County Health Department of the positive case.
        • Contact tracing will begin.
      • If a student tests negative for COVID-19:
        • A parent/guardian will be called to inform them of a sick child and that the COVID test was negative.
        • Based on the student’s symptoms and the determinations of the school nurse consistent with protocols for managing illness in schools, a student who tests negative may still be sent home or they may return to class depending on the circumstances.

Please note: If a student shows symptoms of COVID-19 at home, they should not come to school. They should see a primary care provider, visit an urgent care or be tested for COVID-19 at a testing site. The school district’s Point of Care testing program is only for those students who develop symptoms while they are at school and it will not be used as a regular testing site at this time. The school Health Offices have a limited supply of tests and nurses are tending to their regular responsibilities related to student care.

The district will continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the Point of Care testing program, and will consider expansion of options for testing after the holiday recess as it receives additional testing supplies.

Surveillance Testing

Surveillance testing began for unvaccinated school district employees last week. This testing is being conducted weekly at all schools.

Surveillance testing for unvaccinated students participating in low- and intermediate-risk winter sports began this week. Due to a limited supply of tests, general Surveillance testing for students has yet to commence. Parents will be notified before the general Surveillance testing program for students begins. As is the case with Point of Care testing, students must have parent consent for Surveillance testing.