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10 Warren Co. School Districts to Pilot ODH’s Test & Stay Program Next Week

Posted on: September 24, 2021 2:20 pm


The Ohio Department of Health is piloting a Test & Stay program in 10 Warren County districts that will begin the week of September 27. Test & Stay is a testing initiative for asymptomatic close contacts of students with confirmed COVID-19. This testing program will allow asymptomatic close contacts to remain in school if they receive an individual rapid antigen test (BinaxNOW) two times during their quarantine period and test negative, as well as wear a face mask while inside their school. 

Participating districts include Carlisle Local Schools, Clinton-Massie Schools, Franklin City Schools, Kings Local Schools, Lebanon City Schools, Little Miami, Mason City Schools, Springboro, Wayne Local Schools, the Warren County Career Center, and the Warren County Educational Service Center. 

 “Our ultimate goal has always been to keep our students in school. The Test & Stay program gives the district another opportunity for students to continue their learning in a safe environment. Parents will have the choice to opt-in to the program that provides minimal disruption to student learning,” said Dr. Michael Sander, superintendent of Franklin City Schools.

ODH is providing the participating districts with Abbot BinaxNow Rapid Antigen Professional Test kits and Abbott BinaxNOW At-Home Test kits. School districts may administer professional tests at school to identify close contact students. Additionally, families may opt to test their child at home, and then utilize a telehealth session to oversee test administration and result reporting. All families using the at home test kit should follow the Ohio Department of Health User Guide: Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test Kit – User Guide.

Currently, the pilot only applies to students who are close contacts due to exposure at school, not through a community exposure or school-sponsored activity exposure. Families whose student has been identified as a close contact will have the option to participate in the pilot to stay in school, or they may quarantine for 10 days at home, or return to school on day 8 with proof of a negative test on day 5, 6, or 7. Students who are wearing a face mask or are vaccinated do not need to quarantine.

Warren County is partnering with the school districts,and county commissioners approved using federal COVID-19 funds to provide a nurse for each district to help with testing and pilot implementation.

“We believe in the power of partnership in Warren County. Our school districts saw a problem and wanted to be part of the solution. We appreciate the Governor and Dr. Vanderhoof and their teams’ work to create this Test & Stay pilot. We are also grateful to the County Commissioners for their quick decision to use their federal funds to help us keep our schools open with this pilot,” said Tom Isaacs, Superintendent Warren County ESC.