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Sylvania Schools to start voluntary on-site COVID-19 testing in schools for students and staff

The tests are provided at no cost to the school district or to parents/students.

SYLVANIA, Ohio — The Sylvania School District on Friday announced the start of site-based COVID-19 testing for its staff and students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school.

On-site testing will take place for students and staff who demonstrate COVID-19 symptoms, beginning Monday. The effort is a partnership between the school district and ProMedica and Paramount.

"We asked is there a way that we can make COVID testing more convenient for our schools," Paramount president Lori Johnston said.

There is no cost for the test and participation is voluntary. When a parent/guardian arrives to pick up a student who presents symptoms, they will be given the option to take a COVID-19 test. If a parent/guardian agrees to the testing, a consent form will need to be completed. Students who are 18 may complete their own consent form.

"We developed a program whereby we actually train the schools' school nurses to do the test," Johnston added.

School nurses will collect a nasopharyngeal (nasal) sample and send it to ProMedica Laboratories for processing. Once the result is available, it will be shared with those tested/guardians at no cost to the patient or school district.  

Test results will be shared with the school nurse within 72 hours after the lab receives the test sample. School nurses will share results by phone and offer guidance on what to do next. For people who have a MyChart account with ProMedica, those results will also be available online.

Steve Ursell, a parent of four children in the district, says this is a good move and will make it easier than looking for an outside testing site.

"There are parents that are very, very scared of this virus and very concerned about their kids that might not have the option to go somewhere else," he said.

Testing is now more widely available than it was at the beginning of the pandemic. And health officials say it's key to containing the spread and keeping kids in schools.

"It'll give us a pretty good data stream of information on how many kids are really getting sick from this," Ursell said.

"They know the whole process and they know when they'll get the results back," Johnston said, "so it's way more predictable than what they were doing and scurrying around for before. "

Paramount also plans to roll it out to other districts soon.

What should I do if my test result is positive?

If you have a positive test result, contact your child’s teacher or your supervisor immediately. In addition, follow these CDC guidelines:

  • Stay home.
  • Keep in touch with your doctor.
  • Rest and stay hydrated.
  • Separate yourself from other healthy members of your household.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people can experience a range of mild to severe symptoms that can appear two to 14 days after exposure. The most common ones include:

  • Fever or chills.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Headache.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Sore throat.
  • Congestion or running nose.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

If you experience symptoms while at school, what should you do?

Contact the school nurse. The nurse will determine if a COVID-19 test is needed. In the meantime, continue to follow CDC precautions and guidelines including:

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Stay 6 feet away from other who don’t live with you.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.