LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A new quarantine policy is underway in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS).
As of Monday morning, there were 763 students and 17 staff in quarantine, according to JCPS.
Under a new Test to Stay program that began this week, district officials said they expected the number of people on that list who are not in the classroom to drop dramatically.
Students and staff can take part in the Test to Stay program if:
- they are quarantining after being in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive
- they don’t have symptoms and haven’t tested positive
- they don’t live close to someone with COVID-19 who can’t isolate
- they wear a mask at school
There are 54 testing sites, mainly at middle and high schools, and six mobile sites around Louisville, according to JCPS.
District Health Manager Dr. Eva Stone explained how the quarantine policy worked before Test to Stay.
"Before Test to Stay ... a person needed to quarantine for 10 days following the exposure," she said. "If they weren’t having symptoms at the end of 10 days, they could come back on day 11, and that is if they didn’t have any testing and they didn’t have any symptoms."
Those in the Test to Stay program will be tested every day for seven days with a cotton swab in the front of the nose, said Stone.
She said the rapid tests are paid for through a federal grant program
"I cannot emphasize enough how well our young people have done," Stone said. "COVID has been a part of their life now for years. They have just normalized these processes to help protect other people and they take them very seriously."
Most testing sites are open 3 to 7 p.m., Sunday through Thursday.
JCPS is encouraging families to sign up for the unrelated weekly screening tests, which are meant to determine if anyone asymptomatic is positive for COVID-19.
More than 11,000 people are signed up for that program, Stone said.
The Test to Play program begins Nov. 1 and applies to students who participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.
A weekly COVID-19 test must be negative for students to participate, according to JCPS.