Added Layer of COVID-19 Protection: Free, Voluntary, On-Site, “Asymptomatic” COVID-19 Testing for Students
Dear Methow Valley Students and Parents,
I hope my message finds each of you well, enjoying the return of fall and the new school year. Thank you for your part in helping to kick-off what promises to be a fantastic school year!
In an effort to not only safely reopen our schools, but remain open throughout the school year, I wish to share an update to the MVSD COVID-19 Protocols with you.
Effective immediately, the MVSD will be offering an added layer of protection in support of our students’ health and wellness by providing free, voluntary, on-site, “asymptomatic”, COVID-19 testing to MVSD students whose parent(s) provide prior consent.
Timing is everything…
Whether it’s the farmer’s market, a concert, athletic events, fairs, or other family and community-related activities, we recognize that our students and parents engage in various forms of travel and gatherings throughout the school year. Additionally, we acknowledge that we find ourselves faced with a challenging period of time when reports indicate COVID-19 cases are surging amongst school-age youth, increasing the probability of COVID-19 related illness, as well as the possibility of classroom, grade level, and school-wide closures.
Keeping our students healthy and schools open…
With the goal of keeping our students healthy and schools open, the MVSD has been contemplating the addition of “asymptomatic” COVID-19 testing as yet another proactive approach and mitigating strategy aimed at minimizing the likelihood of COVID-related health issues and closures. This process has included:
- Reflecting upon and examining the success associated with our past practice involving periodic pool testing that followed each major break.
- Consulting with our local public health officials.
- Analyzing best practices taking place elsewhere.
- Listening to the feedback provided by many of our parents.
Once concluded, a parent captured the collective sentiment of the planning team when she stated, “…be proactive and nimble. Anticipate positive cases are among us. Add asymptomatic testing to our quiver of strategies. Find them (positive cases). Avoid the development of a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ culture taking place elsewhere, only to result in spread and closures. Find the positive cases and prevent the surge. Keep our students and staff healthy and we keep our schools open. Maintain our momentum… Our students need our schools to stay open.”
With these recommendations and mindset in place, we’re moving forward with the following testing options…
- Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing: We are encouraging students and families who travel and/or participate in a large group gathering and believe their student may have been exposed to COVID-19 to strongly consider participating in our free, voluntary, on-site, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing following the event. Interested parents should contact MVSD School Nurse, Adriana Vanbianchi at: firstname.lastname@example.org or your student’s school secretary to arrange a COVID-19 test date and time.
- Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing: If your student is displaying COVID-like symptoms, we ask that you please keep your student home, notify your school’s secretary of their absence, and work with MVSD School Nurse, Adriana Vanbianchi to follow the district’s COVID-19 protocols involving symptomatic COVID-19 testing and/or quarantine procedures, as outlined on the district’s COVID-19 Updates page.
In advance of any COVID-19 testing, we ask that you complete the Online Consent Form for Rapid COVID-19 Testing.
Thank you for helping to keep our youth healthy and our schools open!
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District