NY's 'test to stay' policy does not include 'test to play' | WHEC.com

NY's 'test to stay' policy does not include 'test to play'

Patrick Moussignac
Created: November 30, 2021 11:14 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza says there are new rules when it comes to the state's "test to stay" policy.

The new rule centers on high school sports, and after-school activities. News10NBC took a look at what this all means.

The "test to stay" policy was put in place to keep unvaccinated children who were exposed to a COVID-19 positive person in school, as long as they tested negative, and showed no symptoms for seven days. Until the beginning of this week, this included allowing these students to participate in sports.

On Monday, Monroe County officially began its "test to stay" policy in schools, but before the policy started an unexpected change was made.

"Last Wednesday the 24th, the state issued a curveball to us changing how the test to stay should take place across the state as well as here in Monroe County, and they are no longer allowing school-related activities sports athletics, and so forth to be included in test to stay," Mendoza said.

The New York State Department of Health's new revision to the testing and quarantine guidance does say that students who have been exposed to the virus but allowed to stay in school still need to quarantine when at home. They must do so during the seven-day "test to stay" period, but no testing is required for participation in after-school extracurricular clubs, sports, and performing arts.

The change comes just one day following last week's controversial football game involving McQuaid Jesuit High School. Their quarterfinal playoff game in the Buffalo area was initially canceled by Erie County officials who said only vaccinated players were allowed to play. McQuaid sued and won their case allowing unvaccinated players to play.

"I'll be meeting shortly with our school leadership to communicate about this change I understand that many of them are in the process of changing their protocols for implementing test to stay," Mendoza said.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said 750,000 rapid test kits were purchased primarily for young school-aged children.

"So we're gonna work with our school partners as well to get these out to families through their networks as well. So I'll ask schools to participate in the distribution of these," Bello said.

News10NBC reached out to Section V Athletics and some school districts for comment on the change in policy. We're still waiting to hear back from them. Click here to read the entire revised "test to stay" policy.

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