To further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon’s K-12 schools, The Oregon Health Authority is supporting COVID-19 testing in public and private K-12 schools. Oregon schools offering partial or full in-person instruction may provide testing for students and staff who display symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to COVID-19 in the school setting. The Federal Government has allocated Abbott BinaxNOW rapid point-of-care antigen tests to states to support COVID-19 testing. These tests are available to support testing if needed in K-12 schools during the 2020-2021 school year.
The Fern Ridge School District now has these tests on site and will be using them as required. Currently, they are ONLY required for contact sports (football) when as described above, a participant is exhibiting symptoms while ON-SITE! Our District Nurse and EHS Athletic Trainer are our two trained school testing administrators.
Testing for students in grades K-12 will only occur (after March 1st), and IF, our schools are operating with in-person instruction while the County is outside of the recommended metrics (over 350/100,000 for elementary, or over 200/100,000 for grades 6-12). An additional example of when using these tests MAY be possible would be when in conjunction with Lane County Public Health (LCPH), it is determined that a cohort is required to quarantine, and LCPH recommends using these tests to help shorten the length of quarantine for exposed individuals. This can only be done at the direction of LCPH.
In order for any student to be tested, a “consent” form must be on file. In preparation for potential testing that may occur, it is recommended you print the consent form and drop off at the school. The forms are also available in every front office. Below is a link to the consent form, as well as a COVID-19 Testing in Oregon’s Schools FAQ Document. These documents will also both be located under the “2020 School Year” tab at the top, right of the District website.
Again, at this time, FRSD will only be using the on-site tests as required. Currently, this ONLY applies to our football players and the coaching staff. We ask that families continue to support our schools, students, staff, and community by keeping their child home when they are exhibiting symptoms. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your school.