voluntary test to stay

In its efforts to provide an opportunity for students to safely remain in school, Hardin County Schools is adding an additional - voluntary - mitigation strategy called Test to Stay.

Students who are identified as a direct contact of a positive case of COVID-19 will now have the option of being tested to stay in school.  It is important to note that this testing only permits a student to be at school for the academic part of the day and does not permit a direct contact to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities until the quarantine period has ended.  Protocols for Test to Stay were created by the Lincoln Trail District Health Department on guidance from the Kentucky Department of Public Health.  

Students and staff may be tested for five days with the Test to Stay initiative.  Students may return to school on day eight with no test needed.  No test is necessary for the days that fall on the weekend.  However, if the fifth day of testing falls on a weekend or a day that school is not in session, the student or staff member will be tested the next day that school is in session.  

To take advantage of Test to Stay: 

  • A student must be identified as a school-related direct contact within the class, bus, cafeteria.
  • Be entirely asymptomatic. (zero symptoms)
  • Quarantine when not at school.
  • Parents or guardians must bring their direct contact to school each morning and go to the designated testing area.  If the student drives themselves to school, he or she must go to the designated area.  
  • Parents and guardians must be present with the student unless the student drives themselves.    
  • Elementary schools will test between 7:00 am and 7:45 am only.  (Lakewood Elementary will start testing at 7:30 am).
  • Middle schools will test between 7:30 am and 8:15 am only.
  • High schools will test between 7:45 am and 8:30 am only.  

A student who tests negative will be able to attend class for the day. If the student has a positive test, they will be sent home and they will proceed with the normal isolation guidelines.  A return to school letter will be sent home with the student.   

Beginning October 11, 2021, those involved with athletics programs will also be able to participate in Test to Stay protocols. It is important to note that Test to Stay is completely voluntary and the decision to participate in that program should be left to parents.  

More specific information will be shared with students and parents who have a reason to consider Test to Stay.  It will come in a letter from the student’s school.

“Our top priorities are to keep our students and staff safe and for our students to receive in-person instruction,” HCS Superintendent Teresa Morgan said.

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