January 4, 2022 - (Updated January 7, 2022 to reflect change in NYS isolation/quarantine guidelines)

Dear Chatham CSD Parents and Guardians,

Today, you have received either a CareStart or iHealth COVID-19 Home Test Kit. Each kit contains two rapid antigen tests. Directions on how to administer the test are provided on the box. Please note that both products have a mobile application that can be downloaded to your phone. The app provides step-by-step instructions and includes digital timers to guide you through the process. Additional product information is available at https://accessbio.net/products/covid-19-detection-kits/carestart-covid-19-antigen-home-test for the CareStart kits and https://ihealthlabs.com/ for the iHealth Kits.

Taking part in testing is voluntary. The intent from the state is to test students coming back from holiday break so we recommend testing your child this week and keeping the additional test until it is needed (your child becomes symptomatic or has been identified as a close contact).

These tests are being provided as a screening tool only. At the present time, the Columbia County Department of Health does not consider an at-home test to be a substitute for a lab-confirmed COVID PCR test.

What should I do if my child tests positive on a take-home test?

●        The child and any unvaccinated siblings or vaccinated siblings with symptoms must begin isolating immediately.

●       The parent/guardian must report the results to our school and the Columbia County Department of Health.

●       The student should receive a lab-confirmed COVID test (PCR) so that contact tracing can be performed.

●       Students who test positive must isolate for 5 days and can return to school on day 6 if their symptoms have resolved.

At this time, the CCDOH does not allow students to test out of isolation or quarantine.

What should I do if my child has symptoms but tests negative on a take-home test?

●       Students who are experiencing COVID symptoms should remain home, even with a negative at-home test.

●        A lab-confirmed (PCR) negative test or a differential diagnosis from their health care provider is still required in order to return to school prior to the end of a 5-day isolation period.

●       Once a differential diagnosis or lab-confirmed (PCR) negative test is obtained the student must be:

  • Fever-free without fever-reducing medication for 24 hours.

  • Vomiting and diarrhea free for 24 hours.

  • Cough and nasal secretions should be improving to the point where the student can comfortably wear a mask consistently throughout the day.

  • The expectation is that symptoms must be resolving prior to returning to school.

●       If symptoms worsen or do not improve, you should seek medical attention and an evaluation by a licensed medical provider.

●       Testing is recommended when your student presents COVID-like symptoms:

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

We thank you for your cooperation in helping us to keep our schools open and our children healthy and safe.