Test-to-Stay Options During the Pandemic

CDC officials weigh in on test-to-stay options for keeping kids in school during the pandemic

(RxWiki News) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been making some changes to its school recommendations during the pandemic.

Most recently, the CDC issued its assessment of test-to-stay procedures and how they might reduce the impact of learning loss and absenteeism due to school exclusions and closures.

"Test-to-Stay is another valuable tool in a layered prevention strategy that includes promoting vaccination of eligible students and staff, requiring everyone age 2 and older wear a mask inside schools and facilities, keeping at least 3 feet of distance between students, screening testing, ventilation, handwashing, and staying home when sick," the agency noted in a press release.

Test-to-stay procedures involve all of the normal pandemic measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But when someone you have been in contact with tests positive for COVID-19, you must be tested immediately and then again in five to seven days.

If the tests are negative, you can go back to school instead of remaining in quarantine, according to the CDC.

The CDC noted that test-to-stay only works if schools and communities are using contact tracing properly. Contact tracing is the process of notifying everyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Although the CDC has endorsed test-to-stay for schools, it maintains that vaccination for everyone who is 5 years old and older is the best way to reduce the impact of the pandemic.

State and local health and education authorities will still make their own policies regarding COVID-19 testing and closures, but the new CDC guidance will likely inform those policies.

Ask your health care provider about how you can lower your risk of getting COVID-19.

Review Date: 
January 13, 2022