Q&A Test to Stay

Below are some frequently asked question and answers that may help to clarify the Test to Stay program.

What is Test to Stay?

Test to Stay (TTS) is a practice of contact tracing and serial testing (sequentially repeated) to allow school-associated close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to continue in-person learning during their quarantine period.

The TTS program will enable asymptomatic unvaccinated school-based close contacts (e.g., students, teachers, school staff) to avoid school exclusion (but not other restrictions of quarantine) by testing negative through serial testing using rapid NAAT or antigen tests during a seven-day period following exposure.

Is it mandatory for my child to participate in the TTS program?

The TTS program is optional for our families. If your child is identified as a close contact at school, you may choose to participate in TTS or quarantine at home for the minimum period defined by the Department of Health instead of testing.

Your child can be tested for COVID-19 utilizing an at-home test (attestation required) at a testing center or your local health provider.

Click here to find a testing center near you.

Suffolk County Covid-19 Testing Sites
Suffolk County Executive has opened three testing sites. Rapid Antigen COVID-19 tests, administered by Baseline Health and Reef Technologies, will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Heckscher State Park, Field 8 (Opening on Wednesday, December 29, 2021)
1 Heckscher State Parkway, East Islip, NY
Open every Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Testing Capacity: Up to 1,000 tests a day

Red Creek Park (Opening Monday, January 3)
102 Old Riverhead Road, Hampton Bays, NY
Open for school-required testing and community testing
Open on Mondays only from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Testing Capacity: Up to 500 tests per day

Cathedral Pines County Park (Opening on Tuesday, January 4)
116 Yaphank Middle Island Road, Middle Island, NY
Open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Testing Capacity: Up to 500 tests per day

When would a student receive an at-home rapid test kit?

There are two instances in which a family would receive a free test from your child’s school. Each kit includes two rapid tests.

If a student was identified as a close contact at school. The person in parental relation may choose to utilize an at-home test kit to TTS in school. You will be required to complete the Test to Stay-Parent Attestation Form for each test your child is required to take.

If a student was sent home from school with COVID-19 like symptoms, and you choose to use an at-home test kit to return to school, you will be required to complete the Test to Stay-Parent Attestation Form for each test your child is required to take.

Where do I find directions for using the distributed home test kits?

Please visit our website for additional information under COVID-19 Home Testing.

When would my child be able to attend school?

Students exposed at school can continue to attend classes as long as they are asymptomatic, receive negative test results, and their parent/guardian has completed the appropriate attestation form if an at-home test kit was utilized.

Will my child be allowed to ride the school bus when participating in TTS?

Yes, the purpose of TTS is to enable asymptomatic, unvaccinated, school-based close contacts to avoid school exclusion. Students must continue to follow all existing guidance, including required masking.

If a student is exposed to a positive case outside of school, can they participate in TTS?

No, the Department of Health has limited participation in TTS to at-school exposures only. Students exposed outside of school (e.g., household exposure, private sports league exposure, etc.) are not eligible to participate in TTS.

During TTS, will my child have to quarantine outside of school?

Yes, the Department of Health requires individuals participating in TTS to remain in quarantine outside of the regular school day (no extra-curricular activities, performances, or sports).

What if an individual has already recovered from COVID?

If an individual has already recovered within the last 90 days, another test will not be needed. Please make sure to provide this documentation to your child’s school.

How soon should I make the school aware of the results?

The test must be conducted, and the results received before the school day begins, and positive individuals excluded/isolated per existing procedures.

What if my student is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID at school, is unvaccinated, and tests negative?

As a part of the TTS program, your child may continue to attend class in a modified quarantine for five days after exposure unless they develop symptoms or test positive.

What if my student is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 at school, is unvaccinated, and tests positive?

If a student tests positive, the student will be sent home for the isolation period required.

What if a student tests positive using the rapid test kit?

If your child tests positive on the home test, they must isolate and inform the school. Parents must also inform the DOH by completing the Suffolk County Department of Health At-Home COVID-19 Positive Test by clicking here to access the portal. You can also report the home test by calling 311.

My child is in kindergarten. Can they participate in TTS?

The district will use TTS to minimize the impact of quarantine and limit school absences after a SARS-CoV-2 exposure for students K-12.

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