Oregon’s education system allowing ‘test to stay’ protocol

SALEM, Ore. – In an effort to reduce quarantines for Oregon students, the state’s education system is adopting a new COVID-19 testing protocol. The Oregon Department of Education calls it “test to stay.”

The ODE said the protocol lets students continue in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities as long as they test negative for COVID-19 after possible exposure to the disease.

“We know the critical importance that school attendance has on student success,” ODE Director Colt Gill said. “Using test to stay as part of a layered set of protocols in schools will keep students and educators in classrooms, maximizing days spent in school learning, growing and thriving. It’s important to remember that if an individual is vaccinated and exposed to COVID-19, they do not have to take a COVID-19 test to stay in school or quarantine.”

Test to stay allows unvaccinated individuals to be tested once after an exposure has been identified, and again between 5-7 days following the exposure. This will allow asymptomatic unvaccinated individuals to continue coming to school.

The test to stay protocol is an option available to all Oregon schools. Tests will be offered at no cost to participants.

The ODE said getting vaccinated is the single most important factor in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“Being vaccinated helps keep staff in front of students and, now that vaccines are available to everyone over the age of five, it also keeps students in class as well,” the ODE explained.

For more information about different ways educators are trying to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, visit https://bit.ly/3nKWko1

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