In collaboration with the Connecticut State Departments of Public Health and Education, our district is participating in a unique no-cost, voluntary COVID screening program entitled Project COVID DeteCT for unvaccinated and vaccinated students in preK-12 (pm prek NOT included due to time constraints). This program is funded through a federal grant to provide weekly screening and will not cost the district or family any money, nor will the family’s health insurance be charged for the screening services.
Regular screening testing is a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools open for in-person learning. Many people with COVID-19, especially children, don’t have symptoms but can still spread the virus, so regular screening helps find infections before they can spread to others. Regular screening testing will help us keep schools open for in-person learning and allow students to take part in the other activities they love.
The district is partnered with Quest Diagnostic Labs who will be visiting each school in the district on a predefined day and time each week. Children whose parents have signed the consent agreement for their child to be screened/tested each week will be brought to the screening testing room in the school each week by a paraprofessional, school nurse or volunteer. The technicians from the testing lab will assist the students with self-swabbing (or complete swabbing for those students who are unable to self-swab). The Q-tip swab is inserted into the lower nasal passage and twirled around in the child’s nostrils. This is not the “brain tickler” test that many people experienced during the early days of the pandemic. This process will take a short amount of time out of the learning day each week. Each swab is then taken by the lab technician to the lab and tested using the highest standard PCR molecular COVID test. Individual results will be provided to the parent(s), school and DPH within 24-48 hours. If a child has tested positive, they will not be tested for 90 days.
The benefits to this program are as follows:
- Keep Kids and Staff Safe: catch cases before they spread to other students and staff;
- Keep our Schools Open: prevent further time away from in-person learning and friends by knowing whether it’s COVID, a cold, or the flu; and
- Stop the Spread: prevent infecting another member of your household or community.
We hope to have every child/family participate in this screening program. The consent form is attached for your signature that will allow your child to participate in this voluntary program. A signed consent form will cover the duration of Project COVID DeteCT.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to speak with Peggy Rankowitz RN BSN, IDCS school nurse.
Uncas Health District Weekly Data Updates
Interim Guidance for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios in Connecticut School Districts
IDCS Safe Return to In Person Learning and Continuity of Services Plan
Connecticut State Department of Education COVID19 Fliers for Families