Covid Testing Information & Consent
(Last update: December 15, 2020)
According to New York State Executive Order guidelines, a school in a designated micro-cluster zone must comply with COVID-19 testing mandates in order to stay open. This requires schools to test between 20% and 30% of the student and staff population over a set time period (within two weeks for schools in orange zones and monthly for schools in red zones). To be clear, Scarsdale is not in any micro-cluster zone designation as of this writing. We are asking for your consent now to have your child tested should our testing plan be activated.
In order to comply with this mandate, the District has proactively entered into an agreement with Sovereign Laboratory Services (a division of Sovereign Health) to provide and analyze Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Covid-19 tests for our students and staff. Below is important information of the District's plan for testing and an online consent form to participate. In order to meet the State requirements for testing, community participation is essential. Therefore, we are asking that you provide advance consent for your child to be tested. Without significant participation, the schools will not be able to provide in-school instruction should we be designated a micro-cluster area.
How do I provide consent for testing?
Please use this consent form. This form will collect your health insurance information, testing consent, and HIPAA authorization for school initiated COVID testing. You must fill out a consent form for EACH of your children separately. Please note, your responses are not recorded until you click SUBMIT at the end of the last page. Please complete the consent form by Sunday, December 20, 2020.
Why have we chosen to use PCR versus Antigen testing?
While antigen testing is quicker and the State will provide free BINAX NOW testing kits, PCR testing is more accurate and will limit the number of students who are disrupted by false test results. For specifics on COVID testing click here.
How will samples be collected?
The samples will be collected at home using an OMNIgene Oral collection tube. This collection system is simple and the test is based on saliva. Students and staff will need to expel saliva into the tube up to the indicated line (typically takes 1-5 minutes). The collection does not require the production of phlegm, only the saliva produced in your mouth. Students and staff should not eat or drink for 30 minutes prior to test collection. Specific instructions on pick up and return of specimens will be provided by building.
How long will results take?
Sovereign Labs will provide results within 48 hours of receipt. Given the time needed for sample collection and shipping, the results should take about 72 hours.
How will the test results be provided, and who will they be shared with?
Both the District and individual family will be informed of results electronically, directly from Sovereign Labs. The District and Sovereign Labs are required to share all positive results with the Department of Health. In the online consent form you are asked to authorize Sovereign Laboratory Services to use and/or disclose your child's laboratory test results to the Scarsdale Union Free School District. Sovereign Labs has also signed the District's Data Sharing Agreement as required under ED Law 2-D, Part 121 Regulations.
What is the cost of testing?
There will be no cost to families or staff. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides for no out of pocket cost Coronavirus testing. In the unlikely situation that your health insurance provider does not cover the testing, Sovereign Labs will bill the District for the cost of testing. Additionally, if your child does not have health insurance, the District will cover the cost of testing.
Who will be tested?
Each school building will determine groups based on ease of distribution. These groups will be representative of the population and rotate based on the required frequency of testing. Each Zone requires specific testing percentages and frequencies. Yellow Zone testing requirements can be found here, and for orange and red zone testing requirements click here. Notification will be sent to families prior to receiving the test kits.
Am I required to provide consent in order to have my student attend school?
No, a school district may not compel consent for COVID testing. However, without sufficient community participation, schools will not be able to fulfill the State testing requirements. Not fulfilling those requirements will result in the District being forced to go into remote instruction for the duration of the zone designation.
Will I be able to request testing in the event I believe my child might be sick or have been exposed?
The district is currently developing a process for handling requests for individual student diagnostic testing outside of the cluster zone testing requirements. We will notify you once this is in place. The District cannot test parents or family members under our current liability insurance.
Is Scarsdale currently designated a microcluster zone?
No, as of December 15, 2020, Scarsdale has not been designated a micro-cluster zone.
We greatly appreciate your support in helping us provide the best possible instruction during these unprecedented times.