NNPS Offering COVID-19 Take-Home Test Kits
Testing Option Available for Close Contacts and Symptomatic Individuals
Posted: December 3, 2021
Newport News Public Schools is participating in the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Department of Health's Virginia School Screening Testing for Assurance Program or ViSSTA.
As part of the school division's ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, NNPS is working with ViSSTA to launch a take-home test kit program. The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card home test is an antigen test that uses a nasal swab for sample collection which can return test results in about 15 minutes. This test has been authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization.
These test kits will be available, while supplies last, for students and staff who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 and those who are unvaccinated and identified as close contacts to a known case of COVID-19.
Test kits have been distributed to all schools and will be given to parents/guardians when the symptomatic student is picked up from school. Symptomatic staff members may also receive a test kit. Test kits are also available for unvaccinated students and staff identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The test is conducted at home via a telehealth session with a live medical professional as a guide. It is important that the test kit remain unopened until the test taker is directed to open the kit by a certified guide during the telehealth session. To maintain the integrity of the process, the certified guide will not proctor a session using an opened test kit.
Use of the take-home test kits is voluntary. Parents and staff may choose to utilize a local pharmacy, community clinic or a medical facility for COVID-19 testing. Newport News Public Schools accepts PCR or Rapid COVID-19 tests administered by a health professional.
The test kit company will document the test results. Parents and staff will receive a copy of the test results electronically. Parents and staff should report a positive test result to the school nurse or a supervisor as soon as possible. Positive test results will be reported by the company to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) as required by law. Negative tests will be reported in the aggregate to the VDH by school and school division.
Timeline for the At-home Test
Students and Staff with COVID-19 Symptoms: The test may be taken at any time. If the test result is negative, the student or staff person can return to school or work if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication and with an improvement of symptoms. Parents and staff should report a positive test result to the school nurse or a supervisor as soon as possible.
Students and Staff in Quarantine due to Close Contact with a Positive Case: The test may be taken on day 5 or later of their quarantine time. If the test result is negative, and the individual remains symptom-free, the student or staff person can return to school or work on day 8. Parents and staff should report a positive test result to the school nurse or a supervisor as soon as possible.
More information and instructions will be provided with the take home kits.
Newport News Public Schools will continue to work with its health care partners to ensure the health and wellbeing of all students and staff. Questions about the home test kits or NNPS COVID-19 protocols may be directed to the school nurse or the NNPS Health Services Department.