COVID 19 FAQ’s

  1. Why is COVID-19 testing being done at my
    school?
    Testing helps us to catch any cases of COVID-19
    before they become outbreaks. In almost half of
    COVID cases, the individual does not experience
    symptoms but can still spread COVID-19, which is
    why testing everyone regularly helps to prevent
    spread and keep our schools open safely.
    Making it easy for our students, families, and staff to
    get tested helps our schools safely and confidently
    continue in-person learning. Testing helps us more
    easily detect the virus and take quick action to keep it
    from spreading.
  2. How does the school testing program work?
    The Louisiana Department of Health and
    Department of Education are providing access to
    COVID-19 tests at no cost to all public, private, and
    charter schools that choose to participate. Each week
    a trained healthcare team will visit to conduct the
    testing program using a choice between short nasal
    or oral swabs. A single team can test an entire class in
    just minutes using our process and testing can take
    place in the classroom, at a designated location with a
    mobile testing cart, or in a central location such as an
    outdoor area or gym. The samples will be couriered to
    the laboratory and tested using PCR technology with
    results available via test or email within 24 hours.
    Any individual with a positive result will be
    contacted by our team about next steps.
  3. What type of test is being used for the
    school testing program?
    The Louisiana Department of Health will provide
    PCR tests, also called molecular tests. The PCR tests
    detect genetic material of the virus using a lab
    technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
    PCR tests can detect smaller amounts of virus than
    antigen tests and thus indicate a positive result
    sooner in the virus’s development. These tests will be
    administered either from a lower anterior nasal (just
    inside the nostril) swab or an oral swab.
  4. Who will be tested?
    Testing is available for your child(ren), their teachers,
    and on-campus staff. Testing is optional for students
    and required for employees . The Louisiana
    Department of Health will never conduct any testing
    without consent from you. Your school will work
    directly with you to obtain consent within the first
    two weeks of the beginning of the school year or
    within two weeks of the school opting in to the
    testing program.
  5. Does my child have to participate?
    No. Participation is a choice, and while we hope
    everyone in our community chooses to contribute to
    this effort to keep our schools safe, health, and open,
    we will respect every family’s decision, and no child
    will be made to feel stigmatized or singled-out for not
    participating.
  6. If my child doesn’t have symptoms, why
    bother testing them?
    Individuals can be completely free of COVID-19
    symptoms (or asymptomatic), but still capable of
    transmitting COVID-19 to others. By participating in
    pool testing you are helping protect others in the
    school who may be more vulnerable, and you are
    helping to limit asymptomatic spread and keep our
    schools open.
  7. Is there a cost to participate?
    No, there is no cost to individuals to participate.
  8. Will it be disruptive to school?
    The sample collection will be short and occur only
    once a week. The time invested in a weekly 10-15
    minute sample collection process will help protect
    against far more disruptive school closures that could
    result from asymptomatic spread.
  9. Are there incentives to participate in
    testing?
    Yes! The Louisiana Department of Health will
    administer and provide reloadable virtual payments
    or physical cards to participants. Participants receive
    $25 for the first test and $10 for each additional test.
  10. If I have received a COVID-19 vaccine can
    I still participate?
    We recommend that everyone be tested. While
    vaccinated people have a much lower risk of being
    infected, it is still possible, and testing helps identify
    those cases.
  11. How long does the consent last and can I
    revoke it if I do not want to continue?
    Consent is provided for the duration of this year’s
    program, and families can revoke consent at any time.
  12. When and where will my child be tested?
    We’ll test your child in a secure environment at their
    school site.
  13. Who will administer my child’s test?
    A trained healthcare team will visit weekly at a
    regularly scheduled time to quickly swab each
    student, teacher, and staff member. Each team
    member must go through a rigorous background
    check and successfully complete a training program
    specific to school-based testing.
  14. How will I be informed of my child’s test
    results?
    Parents and guardians will be informed about their
    child’s COVID-19 test results, whether positive or
    negative, as well as the recommended next steps by
    text or email. We will directly give students over the
    age of 18, or anyone who gives their own consent to
    be tested, their own results and next steps.
  15. Who else will see my child’s test results?
    Results and collected information are
    HIPAA-protected and only disclosed to the following
    parties.
    · Individual, parent, or guardian
    · School administrators
    · Orion Laboratories (certified laboratory)
    · Color Genomics (software platform)
    · Public Health Authorities (as required by
    law)
  16. How can family members of a student get
    a test at our school?
    Testing of family members will be available during
    the upcoming year at certain athletic and special
    events.
  17. What happens if someone in my child’s
    classroom tests positive?
    Each positive diagnosis will be evaluated on a
    case-by-case basis.
  18. What happens if my child tests positive?
    Please refer to the guidance found on the EBRPSS
    District website.
  19. What is coronavirus or COVID-19?
    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some
    causing illness in people and others that circulate
    among animals, including camels, cats and bats.
    Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect
    people and then spread between people.
  20. How does COVID-19 spread?
    COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:
    · Breathing in air when close to an infected
    person who is exhaling small droplets and
    particles that contain the virus.
    · Having these small droplets and particles
    that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or
    mouth, especially through splashes and
    sprays like a cough or sneeze.
    · Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands
    that have the virus on them.
  21. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
    Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, loss of
    smell or taste, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath
    or difficulty breathing, fatigue muscle or body aches,
    light-headedness or dizziness, headache, congestion
    or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. This
    list does include all possible symptoms.
  22. My child already had COVID-19. Should
    they still be tested?
    The CDC recommends that those who tested positive
    for COVID-19 should not re-test routinely for 90 days
    after recovering from your symptoms. You may
    continue to test positive for three months or more
    without being contagious to others. For this reason,
    you should only be tested if you develop new
    symptoms of possible COVID-19 within 90 days of
    having COVID-19.
    Individuals can become susceptible to reinfection
    approximately 90 days following the onset of
    infection. For this reason, students who are past the
    90 days should be tested.
  23. How is my child supposed to collect the
    sample themselves?
    The Louisiana Department of Health will ensure
    trained professionals administer the tests in most
    circumstances.
    If your child should need to self-collect, they will be
    provided extremely detailed written and oral
    instruction on collection of specimens from the
    school based consultants. Testing can also be
    coordinated by contacting your child’s healthcare
    provider.
  24. How long does it take to get results?
    Test results will be received and reviewed within 24
    hours of sample collection to ensure subsequent
    results and safety/precautionary measures are
    effective.
  25. What do I need to do for my child to be in
    the testing program?
    Please contact your child’s school to register your
    child for the program.
  26. Does my child need to quarantine while
    waiting for their testing results?
    No. Your child or other family members do not need
    to quarantine or miss family, sports or school
    activities while waiting for the weekly test result to
    come back. If your child starts to feel sick and has
    COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, etc.), then they
    should stay home.
  27. What can I do to keep from getting
    COVID-19?
    There are a few things you can do to help protect
    yourself from COVID-19, see the CDC guidelines,
    which include:
    · Wear a mask when you are in public
    · Stay 6 feet away from others
    · Get vaccinated
    · Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
    · Wash your hands often