District clarifies COVID testing requirements

Ballard County students and staff who have been in direct contact with positive COVID-19 cases have had the option of daily testing instead of quarantine since Nov. 3. However, with a recent uptick in the community’s incidence rate, administrators would like to clarify a few points about testing in general and the test-to-stay program.

- This is not a diagnosis tool for students/staff who are experiencing symptoms and think they may be COVID-positive. Students/staff who think they may be ill should go to the Health Department or their health care provider for a test.

- Home tests for COVID-19 are not accepted as proof of positive or negative status. Students/staff in the test-to-stay program must visit the on-campus clinic for testing. Students/staff should go directly to a healthcare provider if they test positive at home, and must have a note from their provider stating when they are allowed to return to school or work.

- Students/staff are referred to the test-to-stay program if they are asymptomatic direct contacts of COVID-positive cases. They must have negative test results for five consecutive days, and may remain at school and involved in activities for each day they receive a negative result.

- Any student/staff member in the test-to-stay program who tests positive will be referred to a healthcare provider for additional testing, care, and instructions about quarantine time, etc.

“There are two main issues with students/staff who are symptomatic and come to the test-to-stay site for their original COVID diagnosis,” said Leslee Davis, Ballard director of pupil personnel. “Primarily, they are putting other students/staff at additional – and unnecessary – risk of contracting the virus. Secondarily, if they receive a positive diagnosis, they still will be referred to a health care provider for a retest. That provider then would be responsible for the required return-to-work or -school note.

“Once a person has tested positive for COVID-19, he/she cannot return to school or work without a note from a doctor or the Health Department,” Davis continued.

For more information about coronavirus diagnosis, please contact the Ballard County Health Department at 270-665-5432. For more information about the district’s test-to-stay program, please contact Davis at 270-665-8400, ext. 2014, or email leslee.davis@ballard.kyschools.us