More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines
After tens of thousands of kids were sent home to isolate due to COVID-19 exposure in the first days of in-person schooling, more districts are starting to pivot toward a "test-to-stay" strategy, the New York Times reports.
What's happening: Many schools are largely using a contact tracing method in which close contacts of someone who tests positive for the virus must isolate at home.
- But a new study from The Lancet found about 2% of school-based close contacts ultimately tested positive for the virus, meaning schools were keeping 49 uninfected students out of class every time one student tested positive, per the Times.
- That same study suggests a "test-to-stay approach" — or allowing asymptomatic kids who test negative for the virus to stay in school — can be safe, per the Times.
Why it matters: The consensus largely supports the importance of in-person schooling for kids.
- But schools are searching for a less disruptive way to minimize risk beyond sending kids home.
What they're saying: "At this time, we do not recommend or endorse a test-to-stay program," the CDC told the Times. "However, we are working with multiple jurisdictions who have chosen to use these approaches to gather more information."