District 99 Saliva Screening - Frequently Asked Questions
Why is District 99 implementing saliva screening?
Saliva screening is another step we are taking to ensure safety. It will allow us to identify potential COVID-19 cases before people show symptoms, reduce transmission within our schools and community and provide more information about transmission within our schools to allow us to make more informed decisions about our schedule (i.e., whether we are fully remote vs. hybrid).
Are students required to participate?
All students participating in in-person learning or on-campus athletics/activities are encouraged to participate.
When will samples be collected?
In-Person Learners with last names A-L are invited to submit saliva screening sample at school on Tuesday mornings.
Transition 99 students are asked to submit samples on Thursday mornings.
In-Person Learners with last names M-Z and District 99 staff are invited to submit saliva screening sample at school on Friday mornings.
How is privacy protected?
Every individual's identity will be protected at all times throughout the process. Samples are identified only by a unique bar code that does not include a name. The bar code is tied back only to a secure database at District 99, accessible by a limited number of people. The third-party screening facility has no access to the database.
If there is a presumptive positive result, the third-party lab will inform our school health personnel, who will look up the bar code and contact the family or staff member. The lab is not provided with any names of students or staff. The lab also will immediately destroy samples and will not keep any records related to students or staff. Click here for the disposal procedures.
Why doesn't the bar code on my collection tube match my student ID number?
The bar code on collection tubes is a unique number for every student and does not correspond to the student's school ID number.
Will the data collected change the metrics that District 99 is using to determine in-person or remote learning?
The data we collect will supplement, not replace, the community and other metrics we are following to determine whether it is safe to hold in-person learning.
Will the data collected change or increase how many students may be allowed in the classroom?
District 99 is required to follow all of the mitigation strategies to ensure a safe learning environment, including being physically distanced from one another. Unfortunately, we will be unable to increase the number of students even with the data we collect from the screenings.
What are the instructions for collection of a sample?
Instructions for sample collection will be distributed along with the necessary supplies at least one week prior to the start of the program; please click here to see instructions or click here to watch a video.
When will the results be available?
Results will be available within 48 hours. Only those who are presumed to be positive will be contacted with follow-up instructions. (There may be individual or small group sample screenings for remote students who are participating in athletics or activities, for which results may not be available within 48 hours.)
Are the results accurate?
While the results have been reliable, it is important to note that population tests differ from diagnostic tests in that positive test results are presumed positive and will be recommended to have a follow-up diagnostic test. Other schools that have adopted this testing successfully include schools in Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Wheaton, Naperville, Roselle, Northfield, Winnetka and other areas.
When can I change from a “remote only” to “hybrid” learning model?
A student’s current selection (remote only vs. hybrid) is in place through March 26. There will be another opportunity at the end of February to keep or change the selection for the fourth quarter (April 6 through the end of the school year).
Are fully remote students eligible to participate?
At this time, only students who are participating in on-campus learning, athletics or activities are eligible to participate. Fully remote students are ineligible to participate.
When will fully remote students who are on campus for athletics/activities provide their saliva sample?
Fully remote students who are on campus for in-person athletics/activities will be encouraged to bring their weekly sample on the first day that week that they participate in athletics/activities.
Will District 99 exempt those people who have been previously tested positive for COVID-19 from participating?
We will review identified cases on a case by case basis.
Will District 99 exempt those people who have been vaccinated from participating?
At this time, we are encouraging that all students who will attend school in person or on-campus activities or athletics participate in the saliva screening, regardless of their vaccination status.
Where can I find out more about the screening being used and its use for detecting COVID-19?
District 99 has selected SafeGuard Surveillance, LLC to provide screening services using RT-LAMP testing. You can find more information about the science behind the screening process at www.safeguardscreeningllc.com. Click here to find the agreement between District 99 and SafeGuard Surveillance.
Please email additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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