Testing symptomatic students for COVID-19 at school is the fastest way to return students that test negative to in-person learning. Beginning this month, Osseo Area Schools students who become symptomatic for COVID-19 while in a school building will have the opportunity to take a rapid antigen test under supervision from a trained district staff person. In order to be tested, a student must have a completed consent form on file that is signed by their parent/guardian.
District 279 will use the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test to test symptomatic students in school. The BinaxNOW test is an anterior (front of the nose) nasal swab with a soft tip on a long, flexible stick that is inserted into the nose. Tests will be made available to symptomatic students free of charge as a part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ELC Reopening Schools grant.
A trained district staff person will administer the test to students under the age of 14 and assist students over the age of 14 as they self-administer the test. Results are available within fifteen minutes.
Students with mild symptoms who test negative for COVID-19 may return to class immediately. Students who have symptoms that make them too ill to remain in school and who test negative for COVID-19 will need to go home for the remainder of the school day, but will be able to return to school once symptoms improve – they do not need to quarantine for 10 days. Students and staff who live with the symptomatic student and attend district buildings may remain in school regardless of whether the student that tests negative stays in school or needs to go home.
Students will not be tested unless they have a completed consent form on file that is signed by their parent/guardian. A verbal authorization is not sufficient for a student to be tested.