THURSDAY, Feb. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A statewide Test to Stay (TTS) program involving daily rapid antigen testing is safe and can maximize in-person learning during the pandemic, according to a published study. online February 2. 8″ Pediatrics.
Elissa M. Schecter-Perkins, MD, MPH, of Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues reported results from the first 13 weeks of an opt-in TTS program, implemented in Massachusetts, in which students exposed to COVID-19 in school are tested each school day for seven days after exposure with a rapid antigen test and may participate in school-related activities if negative.
Overall, 2,298 schools have registered for the TTS and 504,167 people have consented to participate. The researchers found that 1,959 of the schools activated the program at least once for every 102,373 students exposed over the 13 weeks. A total of 2,943 positive cases were identified out of 328,271 tests carried out (positivity rate per person, 2.9%). Through participation in the program, a minimum of 325,328 and a maximum of 497,150 in-person school days were saved.
“This study was conducted during a period of widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for staff and students aged 12 and older, but also prior to distribution of the vaccine for those aged 5-11, and for a period when the delta variant was the predominant strain,” the authors write. “In the context of a new, more transmissible variant, or for which available diagnostic tests have different sensitivity or specificity, these results may no longer be applicable. .”
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