COVID-19 Student Testing FAQ

What test is being used and who is administering the tests? 

The state is providing school districts with the Abbott BinaxNow Antigen test rapid test, and the tests will be administered by school nurses or by a certified or licensed medical provider to students for whom we have received parental consent. The testing process will involve inserting a small swab, similar to a Q-Tip, into the lowermost portion of the nostril. This is a quick nasal swab test of both nostrils. This is NOT the deep swab PCR test that is performed at medical facilities.

How do I consent to have my kids tested at school?  

Please complete the Troy CSD COVID-19 Testing Consent Form for your child(ren).

What happens if I don’t consent?

Your child will simply not be tested. Testing is not mandatory for students, however,if we do not receive consent from at least 20 percent of our school population, we would be forced to pivot to fully remote instruction for all students in Grades PK – 12.  This is obviously not something we want to be forced to do, so please consider giving your consent.

How frequently will my child be tested?

If randomly selected, your child will be tested once during the 2-week testing period. 

What is the efficacy of the rapid test being used?

According to the manufacturer’s instructions for use (see BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag CARD []), the BinaxNOW™ test should have a total agreement of 97%, compared to RT-PCR testing. A pilot evaluation was completed comparing the BinaxNOW™ test with RTPCR. Results showed that BinaxNOW™ had a sensitivity of 84%, which means for every 100 infected individuals tested, 16 would be false negative, and a specificity of 99%, which means for every 100 infected individuals tested, one would be a false positive. Less is known about the efficacy of its use in asymptomatic people. The current FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the BinaxNOW™ test was granted based on testing of 102 adults with acute COVID-19 symptoms.

If the samples from my child’s school show that the building is below the community rate, can they remain open? 

No. The 20 percent is based on the entire district population of in-person students and staff that have consented. It is not isolated by building.

Why is the rapid test being used?

The rationale of using the rapid test instead of the PCR test is that these tests will be done on students and staff who are asymptomatic. Rapid tests detect protein fragments specific to the Coronavirus and are non-invasive. PCR tests detect RNA (genetic material) that is specific to the virus and are the “deep sinus” variety. These have a longer turnaround time than the rapid test.

Can I be present when my child is tested? 

Parents and guardians may not be present for testing during the school day as we must limit the number of people within our school buildings.

If I do not consent to testing, will my child be forced to switch to full remote instruction?  

No. Your child can continue to be part of the in-person learning model as long as we have enough volunteers to be tested. If we do not reach the 20-percent benchmark, all students may be forced to full remote instruction.

Can parents or family members get tested too? 

No. The District is only authorized to test out students and staff. 

What happens if a student tests positive? 

If your child tests positive, you will be notified and your child will be sent home for quarantine. You will need to follow up with your health care provider. In addition, we will share information with the Rensselaer County Department of Health.