North Salem CSD announces a COVID testing program for staff and students

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Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

The North Salem Central School District is launching a free COVID-19 screening program for students, teachers, and staff to help prevent outbreaks within the school community. The voluntary program, which is fully funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will test 20 percent of opt-in participants weekly.

Superintendent Ken Freeston wrote in a note to families that the district will partner with Westchester County Department of Health’s testing partner Quadrant Biosciences to offer the program, which he said “is especially important given the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant.” Samples will be processed using PCR analysis to identify positive cases.

The testing locations will be capable of accommodating up to 150 collections per hour, though the specific testing sites within each school building have not yet been finalized, according to Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services Adam VanDerStuyf.

In an email to The North Salem Post, VanDerStuyf explained that samples will be collected using the Clarifi COVID-19 test, which is a painless saliva swab that individuals can self-administer with the assistance of the Westchester County DOH and Quadrant Biosciences testing team. VanDerStuyf added that the district won’t know how quickly results are reported until the program gets underway.

Tested individuals who are positive for COVID-19 will be notified directly via Quadrant Biosciences' confidential portal. Quadrant Biosciences will also alert specific members of the district who have been instructed on how to protect individuals' confidential information. Those include Pequenakonck Elementary principal Mary Johnson, North Salem Middle School /High School principal Vince DiGrandi, and VanDerStuyf. VanDerStuyf said results provided by the testing program will be treated in the same way that the district treats results reported by individuals who received a positive test from their health care professional.

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