In response to a rapidly shifting COVID-19 context and the impact of the Delta variant, the State of Vermont is introducing several additional COVID-19 testing programs designed to support safe, in-person learning in Vermont schools during the 2021-22 school year. The goals of these programs are ensure that students and staff can safely participate in in-person learning. These testing options also aim to lessen the burdens of contact tracing on school systems and reduce the impacts of widespread quarantine on students, their families and schools.
COVID-19 Testing Information
To help schools frame their thinking about these tools the COVID-19 School Testing Program is divided into two broad categories: response and surveillance testing. Response testing is just that, the use of either antigen or PCR testing done in response to a positive COVID-19 case within the school community. Surveillance testing is periodic testing (usually once a week) whose goal is to monitor for the presence of COVID-19, and potentially to facilitate the safe continuation of extracurricular activities.
Response Testing: Test-to-Stay (TTS) Antigen Testing
Visit our Test-to-Stay webpage for content related to TTS.
In these programs, asymptomatic students identified as close contacts of a positive student or staff member take a rapid-result antigen test before entering the school building for each day of their quarantine period.
Response Testing: In-School PCR Testing
Visit our In-School PCR Testing webpage for content related to in-school PCR testing.
These tests are intended for testing symptomatic students/staff after a negative antigen test or in the absence of an antigen test, testing a large number of students or staff members out of quarantine or testing vaccinated close contacts of COVID-19 cases between days 3 and 5 after exposure.
Response Testing: Take Home PCR Testing
Visit our Take Home PCR Testing webpage for content related to take home PCR testing.
Schools should keep on hand, and may give out, Take Home PCR test kits. These test kits are intended for a broad range of uses, including members of the public, symptomatic students who need to stay home, and their families.