BY JENNIFER GUY
Los Alamos Public Schools
The Public Education Department of New Mexico has published an update to the Response to COVID Public Schools Toolkit. The NM Public Education Department is offering parents/guardians whose student may have been notified as a close contact with a COVID positive student in school a new modified quarantine option, Test-to-Stay. Test-to-Stay uses rapid COVID testing at assigned intervals to monitor asymptomatic students for COVID who may have been exposed to a COVID positive student while at school. If the close contact student tests negative, the student will continue to attend school rather than quarantine. The rapid COVID test will be done at intervals on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 10th mornings after contact with the COVID positive student. Test-to-Stay is optional. Parents may still choose to quarantine their student for 10 days. Any student who develops covid symptoms must quarantine. Students and Staff who are fully vaccinated are exempt from quarantine and do not need to Test to Stay.
If you choose Test-to-Stay, we will give your student a rapid antigen test by taking a shallow nasal sample. The results will be texted or emailed to you. If the test comes back negative, your student can stay at school. This test will be given free of charge at school. The rapid test is only for students who may have been exposed to a COVID positive person while at school. Results are available within 15 – 30 minutes after testing.
Test-to-Stay’ Steps if your child is identified as a close contact:
- Talk to your school nurse
- Register with “Simple Report” at https://simplereport.gov/register/ZPHY8
- On the morning of Test-toStay, please come to school with your student and authorize the rapid test by signing the permission slip.
- The rapid test is conducted. Wait for test results to be texted to you.
- If the test is negative, your child will be allowed to go to class. If the test is positive, your child will be required to quarantine.
LAPS has partnered with Premier Medical Group to offer Rapid PCR surveillance testing to all students and staff who would like a Covid test regardless of vaccine status. Surveillance testing will be available with drive in or walk up options each Wednesday beginning NOVEMBER 10 from 3-6 pm at Pinon Elementary School in White Rock and at Los Alamos High School at Duane Smith Auditorium in the bus loop. Parents must provide consent for testing. To register for surveillance testing, please scan the code link: PMG Scan code
Students and staff who would like a Covid test must complete the forms through the app and show their QR code provided through text or email when they arrive at the site. PMG staff will administer a shallow nasal swab. Results will be emailed or texted to the staff member or parent 30 minutes after testing is complete. Positive results must quarantine for 10 days. Staff and students are eligible to test weekly if they are interested regardless of vaccine status or exposure.
We hope that these two new testing options help keep students and staff safe and in school.