COVID Testing Information
This is an update to the information that was sent home the week of Feb. 21-25 regarding ViSSTA (Virginia School Screening Testing for Assurance) COVID testing.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) now allows for INDIVIDUAL testing, as opposed to pooled testing.
What does this mean?
- The vendor will schedule a weekly date and time to test; Smyth County Schools will notify those who consent to be tested when the weekly testing will take place. We anticipate this will begin the week of March 7th.
- Individuals will be tested and swabs will NOT be pooled but tested alone.
- There will be no need for repeat tests to determine who in the "pool" would have been positive.
- Results will be sent to us through a secure email system. School staff will notify parents or staff of a positive result.
The purpose of this program is to detect early, asymptomatic cases of COVID. Those who consent may choose to participate every week through this school year or withdraw at any point. It is also possible to consent later in the process and for only selected weeks, especially if there are upcoming events (prom, trips, etc.). ONLY individuals who consent will be tested.
Who Can Participate
Any staff or student with consent is eligible, unless they have tested positive for COVID in the past 90 days. If you are fully vaccinated, you are eligible. If you are not vaccinated, you are also eligible.
Students and staff who are showing COVID-like symptoms may continue to be tested at school/work. Any of our school nurses has the capability to do this with consent. We also have test kits to send home if needed.
Consent forms are attached for anyone who may wish to participate. Please turn these in to your school nurse.