FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Q: How do I consent to have my kids tested at school?  

A: Please complete the parent consent form for your child(ren).

Q: How many people need to be tested each week to keep schools open? 

A: Schools are required to test 20% of in-person learners and school staff over a 2-week period. If we do not meet the testing requirements, we will be required to pivot to full remote instruction.

Q: If I do not consent to testing, will my child be forced to switch to full remote instruction?  

A: No, your child can continue to be part of the in-person learning model as long as we have enough volunteers. If we do not reach the 20% benchmark, all students may be forced to full remote instruction.

Q: If I don’t consent now, will I have an opportunity to reconsider? 

A: Yes. Depending on the number of families who consent, we may have to ask for more volunteers to test in future weeks. If that happens, we will send another communication asking families to consent.

Q: What COVID test will be used to swab students and staff at HFCS?

A: The state is providing schools with the rapid COVID-19 tests. A link to information on the test being used:  BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card rapid antigen test

Q: Why is the rapid test being used?

A: The rationale of using the rapid test instead of the PCR test is that these tests will be done on students and staff who are asymptomatic. Rapid tests detect protein fragments specific to the Coronavirus and are non-invasive. PCR tests detect RNA that is specific to the virus and are the “deep sinus” variety. These have a longer turnaround time than the rapid test.

Q: How long do the results take to receive?

A: The nasal swab will take less than 15 seconds, the results will take about 15 minutes.

Q: How does the test work?

A: Here’s How it Works

  • The healthcare worker opens the card and lays it flat on a countertop.
  • Extraction reagent is added to the test card, which is about the size of a credit card.
  • A nasal swab is taken from the patient. This is NOT the deep nasal swab.
  • A healthcare worker inserts the swab into the test card, folds over the cover and in 15 minutes, reads the result.

Q:Who will be performing the nasal swab test?

A: The only person who will perform the test are licensed medical professionals. These healthcare workers are highly qualified and trained specifically in COVID antigen testing. 

Q: Is it a deep swab or a shallow swab? 

A: This test only requires a shallow swab. Using gentle rotation, the swab is inserted into the nostril until resistance is met (usually ½ to ¾ of an inch into the nostril). The swab is rotated five (5) times against the nasal wall, and then slowly removed from the nostril.

Q: What happens if a student tests positive? 

A: If your child tests positive; you will be contacted, your child will be isolated and sent home to begin quarantine. You will need to follow up with your healthcare provider for a PCR test. In addition, we will share the results with the  Rensselaer County Department of Health.

Q: Can my child be tested through an off-site testing facility?

A: Yes. Students and staff are encouraged to be tested for health and safety, regardless of where the test takes place. You can get your child tested by your healthcare provider or at any testing site. In order for those tests to count toward the 20% threshold, results need to be provided to your school nurse within a week. If it is your intention to test offsite, please notify the school and indicate when your child will be tested.

Q: Can parents or family members get tested too? 

A: No, schools only get enough tests to accommodate 20% of our school population.

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