Ballard County Schools will begin 'test-to-stay' program on Wednesday

Ballard County Schools, in conjunction with Wild Health, will begin a free “test-to-stay” program on campus on Wednesday, Nov. 3. This will give students and staff who have been in direct contact with a positive COVID-19 case an option instead of quarantining and missing school and other activities.

Students and staff can stay in school and participate in school activities like athletics as long as they are asymptomatic and receive a daily negative test result. They must take the tests and remain negative for five consecutive days to leave the protocol. (If the five days include weekends, students must test negative when they return to school – for example testing negative on Thursday and Friday, and then they must test negative again on Monday.)

Students and staff are eligible for test-to-stay regardless of whether their close contact was at school or somewhere else; however, they are not eligible for the program if they are in a state of “continuous exposure” to the positive case – such as in a household with a positive family member. If that is the situation, students/staff may begin test-to-stay when the positive person’s quarantine ends, as long as they are still asymptomatic themselves.

Testing will take place at the old board office at 3465 Paducah Road, Barlow (small building between the high and elementary schools), from 7-7:45 a.m., Monday through Friday. Those wishing to test should arrive early in that window, as it takes 15-20 minutes for test results.

While paper consent forms will be available at the test site, parents/guardians also may go online and give electronic consent by clicking this consent form. The link also is posted on the COVID-19 Resources page of this district website.

All students under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, regardless of prior consent. Students may not ride a district bus to come to test, but may return home on a bus that afternoon if they have tested negative.

Those wishing to be tested must come in the front door of the old board office (the one facing BMHS), and are asked to maintain a 6 foot social distance. Personnel from Wild Health will swab the anterior part of the nostrils, and those being tested will exit the back door of the office and wait in their vehicles for test results. Those testing negative will be given admission slips so they may go to school. Proof of a negative test result is required before students or staff can enter any building on campus.

For more information, please contact Leslee Davis, Ballard director of pupil personnel, at 270-665-8400, ext. 2014, or email