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Education

New COVID-19 testing protocol set to go in Oregon schools

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Oregon Department of Education/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Test to Stay allows unvaccinated K-12 students and staff to take free COVID-19 tests at school in the days following a school setting exposure and a week later. If tests remain negative, students can remain in person for classes and extracurricular activities.

The head of the Oregon Department of Education has announced a new protocol which could greatly reduce the number of students who miss school due to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure.

ODE Director Colt Gill joined heath officials with the Oregon Health Authority during a press conference Tuesday and explained that the testing protocol will be implemented in most schools by November 30. “Test to Stay allows our students and staff to take free COVID-19 tests at school in the days following the exposure,” he explained. “And if the tests remain negative, they can continue to stay in the school setting and even participate in extracurricular activities while wearing a face covering during the 7-day quarantine period.”

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OHA YouTube video image
Colt Gill (bottom left) spoke during a press conference with Oregon Health Authority's Patrick Allen (top left) and Dr. Dean Sidelinger to discuss the Test to Stay protocol in k-12 schools.

Gill said the protocol requires these students behave as in quarantine at home for the week, to reduce possibility of any community transmission. Students who are vaccinated will no longer need to quarantine or be tested when exposed to Covid-19 in a school setting.

The Test to Stay protocol requires students be tested after exposure and a second time at the seven-day mark. The tests are paid for by the state-using federal COVID-19 relief funding. They will be free to students. Most Oregon schools are set to go with the testing protocol, Gill said, and the rest are being contacted to get them registered.

See Test to Stay FAQs:

OHA 3898i Test to Stay FAQ (state.or.us)