New York state has shared at-home COVID-19 test kits with the Fayetteville-Manlius School District to distribute to students before the April spring break, which is April 11-15.
Those kits will be given to all students in kindergarten through grade 12 before spring recess on Thursday, April 7. Families of students who are absent may contact their student’s school main office to arrange to have a test kit sent home Friday, April 8, or arrange to pick up the kit another day during regular school hours. A second distribution will occur after spring recess on Thursday, April 21.
While families are not required to test their students after break using the at-home kits, New York Governor Kathy Hochul is encouraging families to test their children for the virus at the end of April break and again three days after their return to school as a strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Safe at-home test kit handling
The Upstate New York Poison Center reminds all families to use proper safety techniques when using at-home tests. Each kit includes potentially dangerous compounds in the small liquid bottles that are used to create the chemical reaction necessary to produce the test result, according to the poison center’s website. Many of the at-home test kits have low volumes of the toxic chemicals, meaning most people will not become severely ill from a single accidental exposure, the website states.
The poison center recommends that families take the following steps when they receive their at-home test kits:
- Remove the kit promptly from your student’s backpack.
- Store the kit, like all medications and household chemicals, up and out of sight and reach of children.
- Read kit instructions and follow directions to ensure accurate test results.
- When finished with the kit, dispose of it immediately.
Contact the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 with any questions or concerns.
Additional test kits available
If a family needs to test their student after the April 7 distribution and already used the tests distributed on that day, parents and guardians should call the main office of their child’s school to request an additional test kit. The kits can then be sent home with students or picked up by a parent or guardian during regular school daytime hours following the spring break week.
The test kits are free for families and can be used at any time.
The district website details the process for return-to-school after an illness and what type of tests will be accepted by the district, as well as links to local testing locations.