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New Test to Stay Protocols Expand Options to Keep More Students in School


Test to Stay, a modified quarantine option from the DoH for unvaccinated students identified as K-12 close contacts of COVID-19 cases, is now approved by Public Health for use in Snoqualmie Valley Schools. This program helps reduce exclusions from in-person instruction, if all required mitigation measures are followed, and uses periodic COVID-19 tests (described below) to keep students in school. Test to Stay is considered when a student is exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case at school. See our Flowchart Resource for our quarantine protocols, developed with Public Health.


Test to Stay

Eligible Students  

Unvaccinated students who are exposed to COVID-19 in school and have no symptoms are eligible.

(NOTE: Per DoH, students exposed outside of school – in their household, private sports league, social events, etc. -- are not eligible to participate. They must quarantine at home and follow the standard quarantine protocol, if identified as a close contact.)


Test to Stay Protocol  

Unvaccinated students may continue to attend school in person in a modified quarantine status for 7 days after exposure, if they: 

  • Are tested at least twice during the 7 days of quarantine (goal is day 3 and 5); AND 
  • Are asymptomatic; AND 
  • Continue to wear a mask; AND 
  • Abstain from all extracurricular activities, including sports, both at school and outside of school (e.g. scouts, music lessons, etc.) for the entirety of their modified quarantine period. Group childcare or youth development programs, provided before and after school, should also not be attended during a modified quarantine. 

Testing Requirements

  • Collection and processing of tests for asymptomatic students during a modified quarantine may occur in schools, healthcare settings, or other locations supervised by school or healthcare personnel.
  • Our schools use Binax Rapid Antigen Tests and CareStart COVID-19 Antigen Tests for students and staff. Parents may also choose off-site health care locations for testing. (At-home do-it-yourself test kits are not accepted.)
  • Written consent from parents/guardians is required for students to receive school-based testing. Learn how to provide consent here.

When a student is exposed to COVID-19, our Health Service team works directly and confidentially with families for contract tracing. If your student is eligible for Test to Stay or another response is required, our staff will communicate next steps and provide additional details. If the proper response is not clear, our staff consult with King County Public Health and must follow their guidance. 


For more information about Test to Stay Protocols from DOH, refer to pages 14-15 in the Supplemental Considerations to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission in K-12 Schools.


Posted September 30, 2021