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Lancaster County School District adopting Test to Stay program to keep students in classrooms

Test to Stay is based on schools and/or parents using rapid test kits to test students and staff.

LANCASTER, S.C. — The Lancaster County School District is moving ahead with a program that is aimed to keep students in school as COVID-19 cases continue.  

According to a news release from the district, it will follow South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) guidance and adopt the Test to Stay (TTS) program. 

The TTS program allows staff and K-12 students who have been exposed to a COVID-19 infected person to remain in class if they are asymptomatic and receive a negative test result on day 5 after contact. Close contacts must still wear a mask at school for the full 10 days, regardless of a negative test result or being asymptomatic.  

South Carolina officials have developed a database for districts looking to implement the program

To help keep students in school, the Lancaster County School District rapid testing site will offer extended hours of operation Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Multipurpose Building. The district will also accept at-home test results if accompanied by a DHEC Attestation Form, which you can find on the LCSD website

RELATED: 'A huge step' | SC students can avoid quarantine if districts implement Test to Stay program

Athletes identified as close contacts can do the TTS program in the classroom but can return to sports on day 6 with proof of a negative test on day 5 and wear a mask through day 10. 

RELATED: DHEC urges South Carolina schools to use Test to Stay Program

According to the district, "students and staff who have tested positive with a PCR or antigen test within the last 90 days and students/staff who are fully vaccinated (if 5-17 years old) or maximally vaccinated (if 18 years and older) and do not have symptoms do not need to quarantine after a close contact. DHEC recommends testing on day 5, and they must wear a mask for 10 days unless eating or drinking or more than six feet from anyone else when outdoors."

The district is urging parents with any specific COVID-related questions to reach out to your child's school nurse.

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WCNC Charlotte is part of seven major media companies and other local institutions reporting on and engaging the community around the problems and solutions as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.

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