Guilderland CSD: We ask for your voluntary consent for students to be tested for COVID-19

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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Guilderland CSD Superintendent Dr. Marie Wiles notified families requesting for voluntary consent to test students for COVID-19. She added that the district’s goal is to stay open for in-person instruction and they want to take the necessary steps to ensure that can happen.

This notice comes in preparation for if the district enters one of the three colored cluster zones (yellow, orange, red). Wiles says that although the schools are not yet within one of the state’s zones, they want to put families on notice.

Beginning Dec. 11, weekly emails will be sent with a custom link for each child in the district. The families will need to click on their name in the email to grant or deny consent to testing. Completing the form will stop the emails from being sent to that particular family.

The district says the planning is based on the assumption that testing at school will be necessary. Testing would be done by a school nurse trained to administer a BinaxNow rapid test. This is a minimally invasive shallow swab test involving a swab (similar to a Q-tip) going in the front of the nose. The district is also exploring the possibility of utilizing a saliva-based pool test; however, the logistics and costs are still being looked into.    

A few key points:

  • Remote-only students and staff will not be tested and do not need to complete the consent form.
  • No individual is required to be tested, but the hope is that cooperation will keep the schools open for in-person instruction.
  • Consent does not mean your child will be tested. They will become a part of a group of individuals from which will be randomly selected. You will be notified if your child is selected to be tested.
  • Results from the BinaxBow rapid test are back within 15 minutes. 
  • The schools will immediately contact the family of any child whose test results are positive for the virus and will follow all protocols regarding working with public health partners for contact tracing and quarantining.
  • If the district is unable to meet the minimum required number of tests by school, they will likely need to transition the school(s) to all-remote learning for a period that is undefined at this point.

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