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District to roll out new optional COVID-19 Testing Program for K-12 Students

On Monday, Nov. 8, Orting School District (OSD) will roll out a new COVID-19 testing program for students exposed by COVID-19 in school, developed by the Washington Department of Health, Test to Stay.

The program provides districts across the state an opportunity to modify its COVID-19 quarantine protocols for unvaccinated K-12 students who identify on campus as close contacts and help reduce exclusion from schools. 

Since the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, many OSD students have missed in-person classroom time, affecting their grades and learning, playing a role in the district's decision to choose Test to Stay to decrease the number of days students miss school. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department approved OSD to use this protocol via a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

OSD’s Health Services Staff will be administering the CareStart Rapid Antigen Test.

Test to Stay's Quarantine Period Protocols

  • During the modified quarantine period, students may continue to attend for seven days after exposure, if they:
    • are tested at least twice during the 7-day modified quarantine
    • are asymptomatic
    • continue to wear a mask
    • continue to quarantine from (i.e., not participate in) all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and other activities outside their home
    • have a parent or adult student provide consent for testing

Students who are exposed outside of school hours or whose parents opt-out their child for Test to Stay are not eligible to participate, must quarantine at home, and follow OSD's standard quarantine protocol in coordination with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

OSD Families can to opt their child in the Test to Stay Program by filling out an electronic or physical copy consent form, sent to them via email on Wednesday, Nov. 3. Also, they can go to their child's school's front office to fill out the consent form if needed.

For more information about Test to Stay Protocols from DOH, refer to pages 14-15 in the Supplemental Considerations to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission in K-12 Schools. 

If you have any questions about the Test to Stay Program, contact OSD's Executive Director for Student Support Services, Chris Willis, at 360-893-6500, ext. 4027, or at willisc@orting.wednet.edu.

This communication was sent to all Orting School District Families on Nov. 3, 2021, via email. If you didn't receive this information, contact your child's school to update your email address.