At Home Covid-19 Student Screening Pilot Program

At Home Covid-19 Student Screening Pilot Program

October 20, 2021

 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

Our school has been invited to participate in the At Home COVID-19 Student Screening Pilot Program beginning Monday October 25th.  The program is expected to run for 12-15 weeks at which time there will likely be a vaccine approved for this age group. After 12-15 weeks it is expected that this program will end, as enough of these children will then be vaccinated. 

 

The goal of this program is to keep frequent testing of asymptomatic school children to allow for earlier detection of COVID-19, until a vaccine is available to children between the ages of 5 and 11 years. Early diagnosis helps to reduce virus spread and increases safety in our school, reducing school closures as we find cases sooner.  This program is only designed to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and does not replace any of the other measures in place at the school (including the daily symptom check).

Participation in this program is voluntary – children and their families may choose to take part in the program, and may stop at any time. Students who have COVID-19 symptoms on the day of a scheduled test or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 180 days are not eligible to participate.

 

While participation is encouraged, there are no consequences for you or your student if you choose not to take part. The success of this program depends on students and parents volunteering to participate; the more students who participate, the better the tool works. This pilot program will only be offered if there is enough participation from students to meet the minimum testing requirements for the program (a minimum of 10% of the student population per week).

 

School staff will be coordinating the program, including handing out kits for students to take home. Teachers and school staff are not responsible for administering the tests to students. If a student is old enough to perform the test on their own, they may do it with supervision from a parent or guardian. If the student needs assistance, the parent or guardian should support them in administering the test and reporting the results. 

 

How Will the Program Work?

 

·      Volunteers receive At Home Abbot Panbio Rapid Antigen Response tests to do at home.  The nasal swab test takes less than a minute to do and results are ready in less than 20 minutes.

·      Parents go to a secure website (https://my.thrive.health) and enter their login information to register and fill in a consent form. For every test performed, results must be reported using this web application. If you do not have internet access, you can get paper-based test forms. In this case the school lead would enter the results into the website for you.

·       If your child’s test result is negative, your child would come to school as usual.

·       If your child’s test result is positive, your child would stay home. You would contact the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) and receive priority status for your child to get a lab-based PCR confirmation test.

·      The school lead receives all the participants’ test results each day and helps public health with contact tracing as necessary. These results are kept confidential and no identifiable information will be shared.

Who Is Eligible?
 

·      All students aged 5-11 years may participate

·      Students who have COVID-19 symptoms on the day of a scheduled test or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 180 days are not able to participate.

Parents are invited to view a video about using the at-home COVID-19 screening test on the screening program’s website: www.gov.nt.ca/studentscreening   

In addition, the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer has provided some additional materials attached here.  They include:

·        A letter to parents about the program;

·        A set of questions and answers about the program;

·        A video;

·        A short cartoon to explain the program to students; and

·        Thrive Health (online reporting tool) Privacy Overview and Notice (information only -consent form is signed electronically as part of registration)

If you and your child are willing to participate in the At Home Covid-19 Student Screening Pilot Program, please email fill out this form  by Friday October 22nd. Instructions on registration and test pick up will follow once participants have been confirmed.

 

After reviewing the materials, if you still have questions about the program, you are invited to email the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer directly at CPHO@gov.nt.ca. The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer will also be hosting some online question and answer sessions with parents over the coming week. Stay tuned for more details on those learning events.

 

Thank you so much for your consideration of this important initiative. We look forward to working with as many of you as possible on this project as we prepare for its roll-out at Weledeh Catholic School.

 

Sincerely,

Jenny Reid
Pronouns: she/her
Principal
Weledeh Catholic School
 
Weledeh Catholic School is blessed to be part of the land in the Akaitcho region, the traditional lands of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation people in Chief Drygeese Territory.

 

 
 
 
--
Jenny Reid
Pronouns: she/her
Principal
Weledeh Catholic School
 
Weledeh Catholic School is blessed to be part of the land in the Akaitcho region, the traditional lands of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation people in Chief Drygeese Territory.