Dear District 99 Students, Staff and Families,
As you know, D99 uses saliva screenings as another mitigation strategy to allow us to identify potential COVID-19 cases before people show symptoms, to reduce transmission within our schools and community and to keep our schools open.
The screenings, performed by SafeGuard Surveillance, use an internationally recognized RT-Lamp process, which has correctly identified hundreds of potential COVID-19 cases that were later confirmed by lab testing. District 99 is one of many school districts that use this low-cost and highly accurate screening method.
We are disappointed to learn about recent news articles examining SafeGuard Surveillance and whether or not it is authorized to perform these screenings. As we have communicated since the start of this program, the screenings are non-diagnostic. Any person whose sample is identified is recommended to go for a PCR test performed in a CLIA-certified lab. As evidence that the screenings are helping to maintain a healthy school environment at District 99, to date, we have recommended eight people go for diagnostic testing.
Although our program is voluntary, we encourage everyone to participate. Over 70% of our students will return to in-person learning next week. We ask that:
- Students with the last name A-L submit samples at school on Tuesday mornings.
- District 99 staff and Transition 99 students are asked to submit samples on Thursday mornings.
- Students with the last names M-Z submit samples at school on Friday mornings.
If you have any questions or would like to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful for your strong participation in this program and for everything you do to help us maintain a safe educational environment.