Test to Stay Program

  • Our school district has been approved to participate in the Test to Stay Program through the Washington Department of Health (DOH) to help reduce the number of days students who are identified as COVID-19 close contacts at school must quarantine.

    The Test to Stay program is a voluntary, parent consent COVID-19 testing program designed for students who are unvaccinated and identified as a close contact of an individual at a school or school-related event who tests positive for COVID-19. This program is not available to students who are exposed at home or during non-school events or gatherings.

    Previously, unvaccinated students who were designated as close contacts were required to quarantine at home for 14 days. The goal of the program is to allow unvaccinated students who are identified as close contacts at school or school-sponsored events to remain in school as long as they are symptom-free and test negative for COVID-19. 

    A close contact is defined by the DOH as an individual who has spent 15 or more minutes over a 24-hour period within 6 feet of the confirmed case, or within 3 feet in a K-12 indoor/outdoor classroom setting. Each confirmed case in Shoreline Schools is contact traced and families are notified if their student is determined to be a close contact.

    How it Works - One Page Flyer HERE

    1. The school notifies you that your child is a close contact of a known positive COVID-19 case while in school.

    • Not available to those who were exposed at home or during non-school events

    2. Parent/guardian completes consent and registration forms giving permission for COVID-19 testing for their child and agreeing to follow the Test to Stay requirements.

    • Students must still quarantine outside of school and cannot participate in extracurricular activities or after-school activities or social gatherings. This is considered a modified quarantine.

    3. COVID-19 testing is performed at our district testing site located at North City Elementary Campus, 816 NE 190th St.

    • Outside tests are only accepted if supervised by healthcare personnel. Tests conducted at home by the parent, guardian or individual are not accepted.

    4. Follow the DOH Test to Stay protocol – test twice within a 7-day period.

    • If testing isn’t conducted per this schedule, students must follow standard quarantine guidance
    • Testing is recommended immediately after being identified (following consent from parent or guardian) and again 5-7 days after last exposure.

    5. If COVID-19 test results are:

    • Positive, student must immediately isolate at home
    • Negative, student may continue to attend school as long as they do not have symptoms and have not had a fever within the past 24 hours.

    This testing program, combined with disease prevention strategies, can help our schools detect new cases to prevent outbreaks, reduce the risk of further transmission, and protect students, teachers, and other staff from COVID-19.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Who is eligible to participate?
    Students who are unvaccinated and designated as close contacts of an individual at school or school-related events who tests positive for COVID-19 are eligible. DOH does not allow students exposed outside of school or school events to participate in the Test to Stay program.

    What if my child is vaccinated?
    Students who are vaccinated and remain symptom-free do not need to test, even if identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Is testing mandatory?
    No. The program is voluntary and parent consent is required. 

    Unvaccinated students who don’t participate in Test to Stay and are identified as close contacts will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of exposure.

    Where are the tests conducted at?

    Our district testing site is at the North City Elementary Campus, 816 NE 190th St.  Students may be tested instead by their family’s health care professional.

    When will I receive the test results?
    Parents will be notified of test results by the testing company, TestDirectly, within 1-2 days.

    What are the testing procedures?
    For students who have been identified as a close contact at school, parents will be contacted and asked if they want to participate in the Test to Stay program, allowing their child to remain at school as long as they are symptom-free. Additionally, the student must be tested as soon as possible again 5-7 days after exposure, and quarantine at home when they are not attending school.

    • If parent consent has been provided, a test will be given and the student may return to class immediately (while awaiting test result) if they are symptom-free. Test results will be provided to the parent and the school district by the testing company. 
    • In some situations, students will be allowed to test the next day after being identified.

    What is modified quarantine?
    During modified quarantine, the student must quarantine at home except for attending school classes. Participation in non-classroom school activities, such as extracurricular and community activities, is not permitted, nor is attendance to group childcare or youth development programs. A modified quarantine is not an option for teachers, staff, or other adults.

    When can my child return to class in the district’s Test to Stay program?
    A student who is not experiencing symptoms may return to class after the test is administered. Modified quarantine can begin while waiting for test results.

    Can my child participate in non-classroom school activities and extracurricular activities during modified quarantine?
    During modified quarantine, students may only attend school and must avoid non-classroom school activities, such as extracurricular and community activities, group childcare, or youth programs for the “modified quarantine” period of 7 days from exposure.

    Students may resume extracurricular activities on day 8 if both of their tests during the modified quarantine are negative (the second test must occur after day 5 and recommended prior to or on day 7 after exposure). This is a requirement of the DOH Test to Stay program.

    What if my student is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 at school, is unvaccinated, and tests positive? 
    If the student tests positive, the student will be sent home for the identified isolation period, usually 10 days.

    What if my student is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 at school and chooses not to be tested at the District Testing Site?
    Students can still participate in Test to Stay by testing with a healthcare professional. Documentation that a test was administered by a healthcare provider, or by an accepted testing site, is required. The student will need to test again between day 5-7 of exposure, and quarantine at home when they are not attending school.

    Who is determining the requirements of the Test to Stay program?
    The Washington State Department of Health.