To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and continue to provide safe in person instruction St. Helen Catholic Academy has received free Home Test Kits from NYC and NYS. These Home Test Kits will help the school implement another preventive mitigation strategy, in addition to the current COVID Health and Safety Guidelines and Protocols, a Test to Stay. This Test to Stay preventive strategy is for faculty, staff and students who are identified as close contacts and do not meet the NYS DOH criteria for quarantine exemption and therefore have recommended quarantine. These individuals would include the following:
- Not Fully Vaccinated
- 12 years or older -Fully Vaccinated, Booster eligible, but NOT received a Booster
Please note: The Test to Stay preventive strategy is an additional preventive strategy even though these individuals can attend or work at school during the quarantine period where COVID Health and Safety protocols i.e., social distance, masking, are monitored and enforced. However, these individuals must continue to quarantine as otherwise required outside of academic instruction periods in school. Extra-curricular, after-school, or community activities are not permitted during quarantine.
Tests from NYC and NYS:
Each student received today, via backpack, one free Home Test Kit.
Please refer to the directives included in this letter for the recommended use of the Home Test Kit.
Schools will also have a limited supply of additional Home Test Kits to begin to implement the Test to Stay preventive strategy. This Test to Stay preventive strategy will continue until the school has depleted the supply of Home Test Kits. At that time, it is strongly encouraged to continue this additional preventive strategy and that faculty, staff and students required to quarantine test at days 2-3 (or the first school day after the exposure is identified) and day 5 using COVID tests available from the Federal, City and State resources included in this letter.
Unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated or 12 years or older -Fully Vaccinated, Booster eligible, but NOT received a Booster, faculty staff or student who are identified as a close contact who does not follow the test to stay preventive strategy and does not submit proof of a negative COVID test on Day 1 and Day 5 are required to quarantine for five days from date of exposure where the exposure date is Day 0.
The NYC DOE funded Pk-3 and Pk-4 students will also receive a free Home Test kits however, for ALL Pk-3 and Pk-4 programs, all children in a classroom with the COVID-positive individual must quarantine. Home tests kits cannot be used by preschool children in lieu of quarantining. Please refer to updated quarantine guidelines for preschool children.
Test to Stay Preventive Strategy: Home Test Kit Recommended Usage
- Schools will distribute free, take-home COVID-19 rapid test kits to any student (in grades kindergarten or higher) that do not meet the NYS DOH criteria for quarantine exemption and who have been identified as a close contact of a COVID positive individual.
- If your child was exposed to COVID-19 at school, please help your child take the first test on the day they receive the home test and help your child take the second test five days after exposure.
- Your child may continue to attend school as long as your child receives negative test results and does not experience any symptoms of COVID-19.
- If your child has COVID-like symptoms or feels ill before the fifth day, please have your child isolate (stay home), and take the second home test immediately.
- If your child tests positive on either home test, your child must isolate according to the updated Isolation guidelines.
- Please contact your child’s school immediately to inform them of the positive test result and for further guidance.
- Parents are required to sign and submit the Home Test Kit Affirmation on Day 1 and Day 5 as proof of the negative Home Test result on Days 1 and 5 for their child before re-entry to school.
- Faculty, Staff or Students who have recovered from a confirmed case of COVID within the past 90 days should not receive at-home test kits following exposure.
- Please Note: With the exception of attending school or riding the school bus the student is quarantined for all other activities, including after school programs and any extracurricular activities.
As a reminder, all students, staff, and visitors must pass the Catholic Academy or Parish School health screener to enter school buildings.
Additional Home Test Kits:
Parents, Faculty and Staff can look to obtain free Home Test Kits from City or State locations or order Home Test kits from the Federal Government under the American Rescue Act.
Federal Government test kits, beginning Wednesday, January 19, can be ordered at https://www.covidtests.gov/
New York State Forward Rapid Test Program information can be found at https://forward.ny.gov/ny-forward-rapid-test-program
New York City COVID-19 Rapid Test information can be found at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-rapid-testing.page
Please Note: These guidelines are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve and updated information is received by City and State agencies.