Dear VCS Families,
Voorheesville Central School District is thrilled to have all of our students back at school and learning in-person. We are following requirements from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and remain committed to taking all the steps necessary to ensure that our return to school is safe and that school remains open for in-person learning.
Part of our effort to support a safe school year of in-person instruction and after school activities is to utilize a new statewide COVID-19 Surveillance Testing in Schools Program. We have a partnership with Albany County to offer the tests that will identify COVID-19 quickly and early, which will help stop transmission.
Governor Hochul has secured federal funding for schools to initiate this screening process, but we are asking for your consent to test your child. Please note, without consent, your child will not be part of this program to be screened for COVID-19.
Two step process
If you consent to surveillance testing, please note, first you give us consent, and then you register through Quadrant Biosciences.
- Sign up through the school to give consent.
- Before starting the process, all students and staff must create an account with Quadrant Biosciences.
Who will be tested
Screening testing will be offered to students, regardless of vaccination status, who have opted in during the weeks when the CDC has defined the rate of COVID-19 community transmission in Albany County as substantial (10%), or high (20%).
It is important to note:
- There is no requirement that unvaccinated students undergo screening testing and those who do not participate in this program can still come to school.
- Teachers and staff who have not provided documentation of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are required by NYSDOH to have screening testing performed for COVID-19 at least once per week.
- Additionally, testing will be offered to any student, teacher or staff member if they exhibit one or more symptom of COVID-19; if they are a close contact of a student, teacher, or staff person with COVID-19 infection; or in connection with their participation in an extracurricular activity or sport for which testing may be conducted.
- During moderate and low transmission rates, we will not offer screening testing, however, we will offer on demand testing for any staff or student who wants it.
How the testing is administered
The COVID-19 testing is quick, easy and does not hurt. The testing program will utilize a saliva-based, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. PCR tests are the most accurate tests for detecting the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Individuals will gently swab their mouth with a Q-tip and place the Q-tip in a vial and screw a cap on.
- To see how simple the process is click on this link to watch a short video.
- We will accommodate all students’ needs to help them be comfortable during the test.
Instructions before testing
Individuals being tested should be instructed NOT to eat or drink anything (with the exception of water), including chewing gum, mints or lozenges, tobacco or smokeless tobacco products, within 30 minutes of their testing time. Mouthwash and toothpaste should NOT be used within an hour.
Where and when the testing will be done
Our school’s testing sites are yet to be determined and will take place weekly, during periods of substantial or high COVID-19 community transmission. Those who participate in certain sports or extracurricular activities may be recommended for more frequent testing. Results will be available about 24 hours after the specimens have arrived at the lab and our school nurses will call parents/guardians of all positive students.
No cost for testing
There is no out-of-pocket cost to participate in the program, regardless of health insurance status. When you register with Quadrant Biosciences, it will ask for insurance. Albany County Department of Health has confirmed you will not be charged co-pays or deductibles for this testing.
We ensure your child’s information will be protected
Sharing of information about your child will only be done for public health purposes and in accordance with applicable law and policies protecting student privacy and the security of your child’s data. Only the NYSDOH, and the local health department will receive results.
We are extremely grateful to our committed families and staff who continue to show great flexibility and resilience as we work together to contain the spread of this virus.
Superintendent of Schools