BinaxNOW Testing to Begin at SMS
For the next four weeks (beginning 2/1/21), SMS will be conducting asymptomatic rapid BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen shallow nasal swab testing in school.
The state of RI, with the support of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), in an effort to expand testing surveillance of the community spread of COVID-19 is supplying BinaxNOW rapid tests to schools free of charge. With an estimated 50% of community transmission of COVID-19 attributed to asymptomatic carriers, this will add one further layer of protection for our community. Please note, this testing program is specifically for people with no symptoms of COVID-19. Schools are prohibited from testing persons with symptoms and any individual who becomes symptomatic during the school day will be dismissed home to schedule a testing appointment as per probable symptom protocols.
All tests will be accounted for and results entered into the RIDOH portal. Positive tests will be entered with identification for contact tracing purposes. Negative results will not have specific identification data unless a parent requests official RIDOH electronic receipt of a negative test result.
We will begin implementing our testing strategy at school with faculty and staff this coming week (February 1st), and initiate systematic testing of students starting the week of February 8th. In order to begin student testing, we ask that parents fill out a consent form. Only students whose parents complete our consent form will be eligible for testing (please see the weekly newsletter or email Megan Buchanan for a copy of the consent form). This consent applies to all testing that will be completed during the remainder of this 2020-21 school year (you may contact the school nurse at any time to change your consent status). We aspire to 100% participation in testing for SMS students. Results will be reported to you the day your child is tested via phone call. Positive tests will initiate a phone call to you and dismissal procedures while negative test results will be communicated via email.
We hope that you will be able to join us for one of two question and answer sessions with school nurse Megan Buchanan via Zoom in regards to this testing initiative. Please reference the weekly for details!
For further information on the BinaxNOW tests, please visit: RIDOH BinaxNOW test information
Thank you for all the actions you have taken, and are taking, to keep our community safe. We hope that this additional safety protocol will help us keep our community healthy. Please feel free to contact Megan Buchanan at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.