First Week Back at School - How is everyone doing?
Hello APS Parents, Students and Staff. I hope you are all having a restful Labor Day Weekend. I wanted to send you all an update on COVID-19 testing at the schools.
Our Team at ResourcePath is working hard to help keep everyone safe this upcoming year. We had a busy opening week of symptomatic-exposed-back to school testing at Kenmore Middle School. As we add and train our new Team Members we will be able to expand our hours and locations in the County. Our reporting system had a big upgrade over the weekend which has put us behind in paper reports but we want to let you know that anyone testing positive gets called within 24 hours so rest easy if you haven’t heard from us. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are still waiting on your report and we will get it to you pronto.
Pooled PCR testing instead of rapid antigen tests for weekly surveillance
As we have experienced multiple times in the pandemic there is a major supply chain issue for the rapid antigen tests we typically use for surveillance testing. We have worked out a plan with APS to save the remaining rapid tests for daily student activity testing and perform pooled PCR testing for surveillance in schools. We ask for your patience as we optimize the conditions for getting everyone tested as quickly and as safely as possible.
How does the change from rapid antigen testing to PCR testing affect you/your student? It doesn’t really change much on the user side. The nasal swab procedure is similar and we will have our team on site to help perform (or observe) and collect the swabs. There are a few other differences in the process between surveillance testing and symptomatic-exposed-back to school testing. Surveillance tests are not billed to insurance. No formal written reports for the surveillance PCR tests will be issued unless one is positive. In the event of a positive PCR surveillance test we will notifying parents/schools as soon as the test is analyzed and we will issue a formal report.
If you are symptomatic or recently exposed or need a clearance to return back to school, please use our symptomatic-exposed-back to school testing service. We are building on to our lab information system and intake system to make your visits as efficient and “touchless” as possible. Once our intake forms for appointments are validated and finalized, we will get them translated into the 5 common APS languages and Mandarin so that they are accessible to all. The intake form for this service will ask you for details about your exposure (including date(s) of exposure), any symptoms you are having and whether or not you have been vaccinated. This information is crucial to help us interpret your result. I will post some more information about specific scenarios in which this information helps us in future posts.
Here are the plans for the upcoming week:
- Meet with School Public Health team to streamline the back-to-school reporting process.
- Correspond with the APS media team to improve our respective website communications to make it easy for parents and staff to find the information they need. With the emergence of the delta strain, the information we worked on in the Spring is already out of date!
- Travel to each school to find the best surveillance testing spot and onboard and train our surveillance testing team. Our goal is to be deployed at each school at least once per week and once we have a schedule made and locations selected we will post that on ours and APS website. Our goal is to start the week of September 13th. Please fill out your APS Consent Form and Intake if you haven’t already
If any staff, student or parent has any ideas on ways we can improve our service, please send us a note at email@example.com. We have a large community of very smart, very experienced individuals and we would like to leverage all of that expertise toward keeping our kids and community as safe as possible.
Take care Everybody and keep wearing your masks EVERYWHERE please!
D. Ashley Hill MD