COVID testing program helps students return to classroom sooner


The study comes as the United States has started to see a nationwide decline in COVID-19 cases, though it remains unclear if this decline will be permanent or if a resurgence of cases could come back in the winter. (Getty Images)

TOPEKA (KSNT)– A school-based COVID testing program is helping students get back into the classroom faster after being exposed to the virus. It’s called “test to learn.”

The program is organized by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and offered to school districts across the state of Kansas.

If a student comes in close contact with someone who has COVID, this program allows them to still stay in school. They must get a rapid COVID test and if it comes back negative, they are cleared to return to class.

According to the Shawnee County Health Department all of the districts in the Topeka area use this program. This includes Topeka Public Schools, Shawnee Heights, Seaman, and Auburn-Washburn. It even helped USD 437 get rid of their district mask requirement a little more quickly.

“Test to learn helps with that because if our students do have a close contact either in school or out of school they don’t have to quarantine,” Martin Weishaar, the spokesperson for Auburn-Washburn, said. “They can come right back into school. That helps us achieve our goal of keeping kids in school.”

Auburn-Washburn and other districts across northeast Kansas are also participating in “test to play.” It’s the same concept, only it helps student-athletes return to their sport.

Students following this program do not have to quarantine for the typical 10 day period.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm