Test-And-Stay Update: Shortened from 7 to 5 Days

Headwaters School
UPDATE 2/2/22: Test-and-Stay has been reduced from 7 to 5 days for Primary and above. 
UPDATE 1/7/22: Test-and-Stay adopted for employees.

Test-and-Stay allows unvaccinated and not-fully-vaccinated students (Primary and above) and employees who are deemed close contacts to stay in school as long as they test regularly over 5 (five) total days. In addition, to use Test-and-Stay, we also require a well-fitted, medical grade (KN94/KN95) masks to be worn; and 2) 3-6 ft of physical distance kept from others while at school during this period, especially during mask breaks, snacks, and meals.

If you are currently in Test-and-Stay, we will adjust the timeline accordingly by removing two days. Please contact your campus attendance email if you need support.

When Does Test-and-Stay Start?
This Test-and-Stay period will start the day after last exposure to the COVID-19 positive person and will last 5 days in total. This is for any close contact, in school or otherwise. If your Test-and-Stay ends over a weekend, we ask you to rapid test before returning to school (i.e. if Test-and-Stay now ends on Saturday, please take a test over the weekend or Monday morning and show).

Here’s an example for a hypothetical case:
  • Close Contact/Exposure Date: Wednesday 2/2
  • Test-and-Stay Day 1: Thursday 2/3
  • Test-and-Stay Day 2: Friday 2/4 
  • Test-and-Stay Day 3: Saturday 2/5 (not required to test)
  • Test-and-Stay Day 4: Sunday 2/6  (not required to test)
  • Test-and-Stay Day 5: Monday 2/7

What else is required while doing Test-and-Stay:
  • a well-fitted, medical grade (KN94/KN95) masks to be worn for 10 days from exposure. If you need a mask from school, please ask.
  • 3-6 ft of physical distance kept from others while at school during this period, especially during mask breaks, snacks, and meals
  • For the 14 days after exposure, carefully watch for any COVID-like symptoms. If a close contact is experiencing ANY COVID-19 symptom, they cannot attend school
How do I share my negative test result with the school?
Please follow these steps to share your negative test with the school.
1) Administer the rapid antigen test and follow the directions carefully
2) Please clearly write the date on/near the test
3) Take a clear photo
Creek and Springs Campus Students
4) Show at drop-off on your phone or email.
River Campus Students
4) At drop-off, stop in Building 4 to show Paula the test result. 
All Employees
4) Please send an image to the HR Director via email.

What if I have even one symptom or test positive?
If a test comes back positive or the individual starts to experience any symptom(s), the person will have to isolate for 10 days. If a close contact is experiencing ANY COVID-19 symptom, they cannot attend school. This includes allergy- or cold-presenting symptoms. 

Who does this affect?
This is only for close contacts who are also
  • unvaccinated*; OR
  • more than six months out from their second mRNA dose or more than two months after the J&J vaccine; OR
  • eligible, but not yet boosted.
Please note, if someone qualifies for one of these classifications, but has a documented positive case within the last 90 days, please inform the school. That person will follow protocols for vaccinated people and are NOT required to test or quarantine.

*For YCC students, they must continue their 7-day Test-and-Stay due to not being able to wear masks consistently in the classroom. These students must also follow the longer quarantine of 7or 10 days.

What about any siblings or family members who aren’t close contacts? Can they go to school?
Because they are not close contacts, siblings or family members can continue as normal, including attending school. 

Please be aware, we have seen a higher rate of close contact students who live with the COVID-19 positive person turning positive. If you wish to keep your child/ren home, all absences will be excused. Please attempt to keep the positive person isolated as much as possible. Mask and distance if you have to share a space.

What type of test do I need and what if I can’t find one?
Any EUA authorized COVID-19 Rapid Antigen test will be accepted. Please follow the directions for the test you are taking closely. 

At this time, families and employees are responsible for providing their own rapid tests. Headwaters is working to secure more rapid tests, but supplies are very limited at this time. However, if you need one test, please let us know. Until we are able to secure an adequate amount of tests, we recommend families have some rapid tests on hand in the event your child is determined to be a close contact. We will be sure to inform families as soon as that happens.  

If you cannot locate a test, we offer a 5-day quarantine with a required test on Day 5 to return on Day 6 if that is preferred/necessary. But please reach out to the school to see if we can help.

How to Find Tests
  • Check out www.findacovidtest.org for up to the minute details on where to find various tests. This cool site was created by a high school freshman in Illinois. 
  • We recommend checking with your insurer for more details on their preferred network of retailers so your 8 tests per person are covered.
  • You can now visit https://www.covidtests.gov/ and order 4 free Covid rapid tests per household. 
Austin Public Health also recommends the following for close contacts:
  • Continue to wear a mask indoors (also wear a mask outdoors in crowded settings or during activities involving sustained close contact with others); and
  • Consider masking at home for 10 days following a known exposure if you live in a household with anyone who is immunosuppressed, at increased risk of severe disease, or is unvaccinated (including children not yet eligible for the vaccine); and
  • If you have NOT tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months, CDC recommends you get a viral COVID-19 test (PCR or rapid antigen) 3-5 days after the initial exposure and isolate for 5 days if your test result is positive.
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As a 501(c)3 non-profit school, Headwaters School does not discriminate because of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other classes protected by federal, state, or local law in its admissions, hiring, or board membership processes.