Return to Headlines

LCSD Test to Stay (TTS) Protocol

Our goal since the beginning of the pandemic has been to maximize the amount of learning students receive in our schools. We are pleased that both NYSDOH and ECDOH have adopted the Test to Stay (TTS) strategy. The implementation of the TTS strategy will allow asymptomatic, unvaccinated, or not fully-vaccinated school-based close contacts (e.g. students, faculty, and staff) to avoid school exclusion (i.e., quarantine), by testing negative through repetitive testing using rapid antigen tests during a five-day period following exposure.

The Lancaster Central School District (LCSD) has partnered with Buffalo Homecare, Inc. for the purpose of conducting COVID-19 testing to allow not fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff to avoid school exclusion.

Students in grades PreK - 12 who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and who are identified as asymptomatic close contacts due to COVID-19 exposure while in a school setting may attend in-person classes (instruction/academic periods), even while under mandatory quarantine orders, if:

  1. the student is symptom free;
  2. the school has received consent for the student to undergo testing;
  3. the student is tested a minimum of two times during the five-day period following exposure, unless recognition of the exposure is delayed or weekends or school breaks intervene. One of the tests must occur on day five. 

The following information outlines the Lancaster Central School District TTS procedures for students, faculty, and staff.

  1. The exposure must have occurred in the school setting and while both the person with COVID-19 and exposed person (i.e., close contact) were consistently and properly masked. When these individuals cannot be properly masked (i.e., when eating or drinking inside), they should maintain 6 feet of distance from other individuals.
  2. The exposed person, or the exposed person’s parent/guardian, will be notified of the identification as a close contact by school personnel (e.g., school nurse, administrator).
  3. The exposed person must remain asymptomatic. If the exposed person who is allowed to remain in school through TTS develops symptoms, they must immediately be excluded from school per current school guidance. The symptomatic individual must follow the ECDOH criteria for a return to school/work.
  4. The exposed person must be tested a minimum of two times during the five-day period following exposure, which is measured in calendar days where the last date of exposure is considered day 0. The first test should be done as soon as possible after exposure is identified (i.e., the first day the student is in school after identified exposure). One of the tests must occur on day five. The possible exception to this would be if recognition of the exposure is delayed or weekends or school breaks intervene.
  5. Prior to testing, each TTS participant must complete the LCSD consent form for TTS (LCSD Consent: Test to Stay).
  6. A rapid antigen test will be administered at the student’s school by a medical professional from Buffalo Homecare, Inc. to the individuals(s) identified as close contacts who have consented in Test to Stay (TTS) to avoid school exclusion.
  7. Testing will occur Monday through Friday prior to the instructional day at each of Lancaster’s seven schools for students, faculty, and staff. For example, a student at the K-3 level would test with one of the Buffalo Homecare, Inc.  medical professionals prior to 8:50 am.
  8. If a student tests negative, the student will be sent to class. The parent/guardian will not be notified of negative test results.
  9. In the event that an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the individual would begin an isolation period as determined by the ECDOH and NYSDOH Isolation & Quarantine Guidance. The appropriate school personnel would begin the LCSD contact tracing protocols and contact any exposed individuals. A parent/guardian would be required to pick up the student from school.
  10. Please note: Per the ECDOH, a negative PCR test within 48 hours of a positive renders the positive antigen test a “false positive.” The individual would be allowed to return to school/work for the remainder of the TTS protocol.
  11. Per guidance from both NYSDOH and ECDOH, the exposed person who is allowed to remain in school (instruction/academic periods) through TTS must be quarantined outside of school (on weekends/holidays when the five-day TTS period is still active, but no school test is required; after school/evenings; no community activities or extracurricular participation including clubs, sports, arts/performance activities, etc.).
  12. Please note that people participating in TTS are allowed to continue to ride the school bus following all existing guidance, including required masking. However, the ECDOH strongly recommends that parents/guardians provide transportation for students, if feasible.

Reporting Procedures

Consistent with the guidance from the ECDOH, the following reporting requirements will be met by LCSD personnel.

  • In conjunction with Buffalo Homecare, Inc.,
    • The COVID-19 test results will be reported on a daily basis to the Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System (ECLRS) and the NYSDOH Report Card.
    • All positive test results will be reported daily to the ECDOH.

Please contact the following for questions regarding TTS:

For questions regarding consent or to rescind consent from participating in TTS
lcsdconsent@lancasterschools.org

For general questions regarding COVID-19 or TTS strategy covid19questions@lancasterschools.org