The new 'Test to Stay' program was announced Monday night for all schools in the Hopkins County, and this new program aims to keep as many kids as possible inside of the school building.
The 'Test to Stay' program is a partnership between local Hopkins County schools and Ethos Lab Testing. In the past, close contacts in maskless situations had to quarantine from school for 7-14 days, regardless of their covid status.
But now, this new testing program will allow close contacts to still come into school each day, receive a rapid COVID-19 test, and if the test comes back negative, they’ll be allowed to come back to in-person school, instead of having to quarantine at home.
“It’s for someone who just has a close contact," said Amy Smith, superintendent of Hopkins County Schools. "It could be someone who’s at a practice, like an athletic practice, or a band practice, or sometimes in the school.”
Students that are deemed a close contact will have to rapid test for five days before coming into school. If they do test positive, students will receive a follow-up PCR test and then have to return home and await the results.
And with this new program that keeps more kids in school, officials are hopeful that test scores will improve this year after the bluegrass state saw test scores drop across the board last year.
“We’ve seen that you can’t replace in-person instruction," said Smith. "We knew that, but the test scores that we received recently just verified that, so this will hopefully help close those gaps, not only academically with our students but socially and emotionally with our students as well.”
Hopkins County schools say they’re hoping to have this 'Test to Stay' program up and running by Oct. 18.