BALLSTON SPA — Saratoga County officials announced the county is expanding its “Test to Stay” (TTS) protocol to school districts countywide to allow more students to remain in the classroom during COVID-19.
TTS is a test-based protocol for preK-12 students who have been exposed to COVID-19 in school or on a school bus that allows them attend classes in person rather than quarantine at home.
Using at-home test kits provided by the school, parents conduct the test on a set schedule and must report the results before a school day begins. Students who are positive or who have symptoms of COVID-19 (regardless of their test result) are not allowed to proceed to school.
Saratoga County was the first county in the State to implement a TTS program and partnered directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a pilot project in the South Glens Falls School District (SGF) in October 2021. Through January 6, 457 SGF students have enrolled in test to stay and only four tested positive (0.875%). Ninety-six-percent (96%) of parents consented to have their child participate, which saved nearly 1800 days of in-person instruction. TTS allows schools to maximize instruction time and minimize interruptions to learning.
Many school districts in Saratoga County were anticipated to begin offering the program over the past week.
To lessen the burden of TTS on schools and families, SCPHS has launched a web portal to assist parents and guardians with reporting and schools with timely surveillance and data management. Participating schools will link to the portal from their websites.
NY State operates a “Covid-19 Report Card” website which features all public, private, charter and BOCES program schools in New York and reports each school’s correlating COVID-19 data, including positive test results of students, teachers and staff. That site may be searched at: schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/home.