Update: Rapid Antigen Test guidance and instruction for students and staff
Jan. 18, 2022,
The Ministry of Education has provided us with a shipment of Rapid Antigen Tests to provide to staff and students.
Currently, we have enough supply to provide two tests this week to all school-based staff as well as elementary school students.
As soon as we receive additional shipments, we will provide tests to secondary students as well. At this time, Rapid Antigen Tests will only be provided to in-person learners and will not be provided to students enrolled in virtual school.
Rapid Antigen Test Guidance and Instructions
In an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19, return staff to schools more quickly when they are ill, and to continue to support our school communities, the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board is pleased to offer rapid antigen test kits for symptomatic students and staff.
In alignment with the updated testing guidance from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, individuals may use rapid antigen tests if they are experiencing symptoms compatible with COVID-19. The test kit provided to you contains two rapid antigen tests.
This testing option is voluntary for students, children and staff. If a symptomatic individual chooses not to participate, they are presumed positive and should isolate immediately and follow updated testing guidance: https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/school_childcare_guidance_omicron.pdf
Please read the information below carefully, if choosing to participate.
When to Use a Take-home Rapid Antigen Screening Kit:
- For individuals choosing to participate in this testing option, they must display symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19. As outlined in the updated guidance (https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/2019_reference_doc_symptoms.pdf), this includes:
o Fever and/or chills; OR
o Cough; OR
o Shortness of breath; OR
o Decrease or loss of taste or smell; OR
o Two or more of:
- runny nose/nasal congestion
- extreme fatigue
- sore throat
- muscle aches/joint pain
- gastrointestinal symptoms (i.e. vomiting or diarrhea)
- Symptomatic individuals must complete the rapid antigen tests at home.
- If the first RAT test is positive there is no need to use the second test. A positive RAT is highly indicative that the individual has COVID-19. A positive RAT does NOT need to be confirmed with a PCR test. Positive RAT tests do NOT need to be reported to the public health unit, school or child care
- If the first RAT test is negative, complete the second test separated by 24 to 48 hours.
Using the Take-home Rapid Antigen Screening Kit:
- You may also reference this how-to video: https://youtu.be/EWSFJ1JoUd0
Important note: Parents or guardians may choose to administer this screening on children who may need help (i.e. younger children).
What to do after your test:
- You will know the outcome of the test within 15 minutes.
- If the first rapid antigen test is positive, there is no need to use the second test. A positive rapid antigen test is highly indicative that the individual has COVID-19. Positive rapid antigen tests do NOT need to be reported to the public health unit, school or child care.
- If the first rapid antigen test is negative, complete the second test within 24 to 48 hours of the first test. If two consecutive rapid antigen tests, separated by 24 to 48 hours, are both negative, the symptomatic individual is less likely to have COVID-19 infection, and the individual should isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present).
- If the individual who tests positive is fully vaccinated or 11 years of age or younger, they must self-isolate for at least 5 days from symptom onset and until their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms), whichever is longer in duration.
- If the individual who tests positive is 12 years of age or older and is either partially vaccinated or unvaccinated they must self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset or from the date of their test (whichever was earlier).
- If the individual who tests positive is immune compromised (regardless of age and vaccination status) they must self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, or from the date of their test (whichever came sooner).
o If symptoms persist / worsen, individuals are encouraged to seek advice from Telehealth or their health care provider.
- Please note: in alignment with updated testing guidance, there is no confirmatory PCR test required if an individual tests positive. For more information about what to do if you receive a positive test results, please following the guidance found at: https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/school_childcare_guidance_omicron.pdf