FAQ's: Covid-19 Testing


Q: Who is required to be tested? Why?

A: All schools in the West Irondequoit CSD are included in the Monroe County "Yellow Zone" Micro-Cluster, which was designated by New York State. With this designation comes state-mandated testing requirements for schools to continue in-person hybrid learning, which involves regular testing of both students and employees.

Q: How many people need to be tested?

A: We are required to test 20% of our in-person school population, including students and staff, each week in order to comply with the governor’s order and continue in-person instruction. We must administer approximately 750 tests per week.

Q: How will you select which individuals will be tested in any given week?

A: Only students who have parental consent will be tested. Among the students who have parental consent in each building, a computerized random selection of 20% of the total school population will be tested each week.

Q: If I don’t consent to my child being tested, will they still be able to attend in-person instruction?

A: Students who opt out of testing will remain in their current program. We must achieve 20% each week. If we can't, everyone will be moved into full-remote instruction.

Q: If my child is currently participating in the Full-Remote Instruction model, does he/she need to be tested? 
A: No. The state guidance is asking schools to focus initially on in-person (Hybrid model) students/staff only. The district is exploring options later for remote-only learners/teachers.

Q: How will tests be performed? Who will administer them?

A: The COVID-19 test being used by our schools are not the long nasal swabs. Instead, it will be the Rapid Test (Abbott BinaxNOW) with a swab to the interior, lower portion of the nose. The swabs will be administered by trained personnel under the supervision of our school physician and the Monroe County Department of Public Health.


Q: Is there another option other than nasal swab?

A: The testing kits being provided by NYS Department of Health are exclusively nasal swabs. If a parent or adult would like to have a different type of test, they can contact their health care provider or one of the local testing sites at this website: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you. There may be an additional cost involved. Once the test is done off site, the results can be forwarded to the school nurse in your building. The district is then able to count this as part of the 20 percent tested.

Q: Where will the testing be done?

A: Testing will happen in each school building in a designated area outside of the classroom. 5% of each building’s consenting population will be tested Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to achieve our weekly 20%. Staff will be tested on Wednesdays when most of our students are learning remotely.

Q: What is the rate of false positive tests with this method?

A: The test has a low rate of false positives.

Q: What happens if a student or staff member tests positive?

A: Any person who tests positive will be discreetly notified and moved to the school’s COVID isolation area. Parents/guardians will be notified, and students will be directed to contact their health care provider.

Q: How much instruction time will students miss the day they are tested?

A: We will do our best to minimize students’ time outside of the classroom and are targeting non-instructional times when possible. We are approximating the total time out of classroom will be no more than 10-15 minutes.

Q: If a student/faculty member tests positive what happens to the students and staff who have been exposed to that student?

A: In the event a student tests positive, the student will be taken to the COVID isolation room and the parent will be informed immediately to pick the student up from school. The MCDPH will be notified and the school will cooperate in contact tracing with the MCDPH. The school does not have the authority to isolate or quarantine anyone. The school’s role is to assist the MCDPH in identifying individuals who were in close contact with a COVID positive individual. According to the CDC, close contact is defined by someone who was within six feet of a COVID positive individual for a period of at least 15 minutes without a mask. We may contact parents if, in cooperation with the MCDPH, we identify students who will likely be quarantined. We would request that those students stay home and participate in remote instruction until they are contacted by the MCDPH.

Q: If teachers and staff are being tested, how will instruction proceed if they are waiting to be tested?

A: All efforts will be made to minimize the impact testing has on instruction. If needed, principals will be providing coverage for any teacher who may step away from their classroom for the purpose of testing. In most cases, staff testing will occur on Wednesdays when most students are learning remotely.

Q: Who will take students to the testing?

A: Each building will have an assigned site coordinator. They will work with the principal to ensure students have supervision to go to the testing location and that classrooms are provided coverage, if needed.

Q: If a child is sent home with a positive test what will be done to make sure they do not fall behind in school work? What needs to be done before they can return to school?

A: The student will be able to continue with school remotely, under the direction of staff. Students who have tested positive will be contacted by the MCDPH and placed in isolation for a period of time dictated by the department. This has typically been 10 days from the first day a symptom has occurred. Students may return after their isolation has been lifted by the MCDPH and they are symptom free for 72 hours.

Q: Will I be notified if my child is tested?

A: Yes. If your child is tested at school, and tests negative, you will be notified via email on the day that testing occurred. If your child tests positive, you will be notified immediately.

Q: Can I be with my child at school when they are tested?
A: Yes. Please inform your building principal of this request so we can notify you know once we know they have been randomly selected.

Q: Can I opt out if I am not comfortable with my child being tested at school?

A: Yes. No child will be tested without parental consent. For your child to be eligible to be randomly tested at school, parents/guardians must submit the consent form that was emailed to you. If you do not submit that form, your child will not be eligible. If you want your child tested by your healthcare provider or a community testing center, please share the results with the district. These results will count toward the district’s 20% testing requirement.

Q: If I give permission, can I revoke it later?

A: Yes. You would need to inform your school principal in writing.

Q: If my child has a symptom during the day, and I provide consent, will she be tested before being sent home?

A: If testing is being conducted on a day when a student demonstrates a symptom and consent has been provided, the team can conduct the test.

Q: Is there a cost associated with testing at school?

A: No. There is no cost for individuals to participate in testing.

Q: How long will this testing take place?

A: Testing will take place in WICSD schools until the state has removed our community’s yellow zone designation. At that time, the district will look at the efficacy of the testing and determine to what degree testing would continue.

Q: What if I have additional questions?

A: Contact your child’s building principal.

Q: What measures are taken during testing to prevent contamination?

A: Personnel will wear appropriate PPE. Students will wear masks, maintain physical distancing and sanitize hands before and after testing.

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