*Please ignore this form if you already provided your consent to have your child(ren) tested for COVID-19 at school.
With the prevalence of the COVID-19 omicron variant and potential use of home test kits for symptomatic students, the Hudson City School District is seeking your consent to have a nurse conduct free point-of-care and/or screening testing on your student(s) during the 2021-22 school year. Read more about each type of COVID-19 test below.
With your consent, these tests may be administered if:
- a student develops COVID-19 symptoms at school (point-of-care testing)
- a symptomatic student receives a negative result on a home test kit and attends school while symptoms continue (in this case, the school nurse would conduct point-of-care testing to confirm or invalidate the negative home test result)
- the District begins screening testing of unvaccinated, asymptomatic students to identify unknown cases in students without symptoms (however the District does not have enough supplies to conduct full scale screening testing at this time)
Please read the information below and complete this consent form for each child in your household as soon as possible so we can process your consent. If you already completed this form or if you do NOT consent to having your child(ren) tested for COVID-19 at school, please ignore this form.
How are the tests administered?
Collecting a specimen for both types of testing involves placing a small swab, similar to a Q-Tip, into the front of the nose. Please visit https://youtu.be/AvFLbHbt1bs for a video demonstrating this process.
What is point-of-care testing, and why would it happen at school?
Point-of-care (POC) tests are used to diagnose current COVID-19 infections in symptomatic individuals. The school nurse will conduct POC testing only if your child becomes symptomatic at school or attends school with symptoms after receiving a negative result on a home test kit. POC tests are more sensitive than home tests and the results will allow the school nurses to confirm or rule out COVID-19 as the cause of your child’s symptoms.
The school nurses have the ability to detect the virus in symptomatic students using ID NOW COVID-19 machines, which were provided to the District through a grant awarded to the Columbia County Department of Health.
Additionally, testing at school will help eliminate the need to send home siblings of a symptomatic student if the siblings are asymptomatic. Currently, if a student shows symptoms at school they are sent home and all other students from the same household are sent home too as a precaution. But if the nurse is allowed to test a symptomatic student at school and the test result is negative (ruling out COVID-19), the siblings will not be required to go home too as long as they do not have symptoms.
What happens when the test results are received?
Test results will be available to school staff within 15 minutes of specimen collection. You will be contacted only if your child is positive. If the test results are positive, your child will be sent home and the school will begin contact tracing protocols. Please follow the local health department’s requirement for isolation and/or quarantine, which will be shared with you if needed.
If your child’s test results are negative, this means that the virus was not detected in your child’s specimen. If your child tests negative for COVID, but they are still presenting symptoms, the school will follow its existing school illness policy. Depending on your child’s specific symptoms, this may include being sent home and asking for a doctor’s alternate diagnosis.
If you have concerns about your child’s exposure to COVID-19, you should call the Columbia County Department of Health and your child’s doctor.
For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/k-12-guidance.html
What is screening testing, and why would it happen at school?
Screening tests are intended to identify COVID-19 in unvaccinated people who are asymptomatic, and do not have known, suspected, or reported exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). Screening helps to identify unknown cases in people without symptoms so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission.
A state mandate requires schools to offer free screening testing to unvaccinated students once a week in places identified by the CDC as having moderate, substantial, or high transmission rates. Screening testing will be voluntary and parent/guardian consent is required.
At this time, the District does not have adequate supplies to conduct full scale screening testing. Once the County acquires and provides schools with a supply of antigen test kits, the District will implement this state requirement by working collaboratively with Questar III BOCES and CCDOH. If you consent, your child(ren) will receive a free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus once a week (when supplies are available). Additionally, there may be times when student athletes must be tested once or twice per week depending on the community transmission level.