Johnson County Schools implementing ‘test-to-stay’ program

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Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 9:15 AM EST
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Schools in the state are starting to open up after the holiday break, but COVID-19 did not take a break.

Several schools are taking extra measures to stay as safe as possible during the recent surge in cases.

Monday morning, Johnson County Schools implemented a “Test-To-Stay” program.

“We see this as a service that we can provide for parents. The one thing we have definitely learned through the pandemic is that students learn better in face-to-face instruction,” said Johnson County Schools Assistant Superintendent, Noel Crum.

This option allows any students who were recently exposed to COVID-19 to test for the virus as opposed to being quarantined. Any exposed students who opt for the test-to-stay program will continue to be tested periodically within the ten-day period that they would have been quarantined.

As stated on the Johnson County School District Facebook Page, this program is meant to focus on students who are unvaccinated and is intended to continue education, but does not pertain to extracurricular activities such as sports.

“By having a program like this, it does give us a much better opportunity to hopefully not be in a situation where we would ever have to call school off this school year,” added Crum.

The program is volunteer based, and there are criteria to be eligible to participate, including:

  • Be entirely asymptomatic.
  • Must wear a mask while indoors at school for the entirety of the program even if all test results are negative.
  • Will maintain a 6 ft. distance from others when not at school, the student/staff member must stay home and refrain from any school/community activities.
  • If the test results are positive, the student must be picked up and must quarantine at home as directed.
  • The parent/guardian must transport students to and from school daily during the program.

Johnson County Middle School Principal and parent, Shawn Hall, said he is happy that his students and his child will have the option to stay in school.

“So many students are going through social and emotional distress situations and I think the only way to get that back on track is to be some consistencies and regularities in their lives, some routine, and I think school can provide that,” said Hall.

The school district says it will keep masking optional for the semester, rather than making that decision on a weekly basis.

Students will still need to wear masks on buses due to federal mandates.

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