WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — Westerly Public Schools will be one of the first districts in Rhode Island to take part in the state’s test-to-stay pilot program, according to a letter sent to parents by Superintendent Mark Garceau.
The pilot program, according to Garceau, will begin Wednesday and is designed to prevent students from missing class due to quarantine.
“If a student is exposed at school to someone who has COVID-19 and would be considered a close contact, the exposed student can stay in school as long as they do not have COVID-19 symptoms,” Garceau explained. “They will not need to quarantine at home and miss school.”
Garceau clarified that the pilot program will only be available as an alternative to quarantine for unvaccinated students in grades Pre-K through 6.
“It is our hope that TTS, along with the other safety measures we continue to have in place, will keep our schools safe and will allow students to stay in school,” Garceau said.
Students participating in test-to-stay will do so for one week, Garceau said, during which they’ll be allowed to ride the bus to school.
Upon arriving at school for the day, Garceau explained that test-to-stay students will be required to go to a designated location to be tested.
Students who test negative will be allowed to head to class, while those who test positive will be required to isolate at home.
Any parents who want their child to participate in the pilot program must sign up online.
Gov. Dan McKee first mentioned the test-to-stay pilot program late last month, though he admitted at the time the details hadn’t been hammered out yet.
McKee touted the pilot program’s launch during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing.