COVID-19 Testing Program

We understand that the impact of the pandemic has been hard on families. While we must prioritize the health and safety of students and staff, we also recognize the importance of keeping our students in school where they can learn in-person with their peers. Our goal is to keep our school safely open for in-person instruction, in-person extracurricular activities and to continue to support social and emotional learning for all students.

Emerging research indicates that the school setting is safer than the general community because of the stringent health and safety protocols, which are strictly enforced. Since the reopening of school in the fall, we have made data-informed decisions by working collaboratively with the Lake County Department of Public Health.

Just as we meticulously planned for safe reopening in the fall, we are carefully planning to allow increased in-person extracurricular activities. Carmel Catholic High School takes the health and safety of our students and their families very seriously. In addition to current steps to screen for the virus and prevent its spread, we are adding a COVID-19 testing program. For this rapid antigen testing program, we will begin with the use of Abbott Laboratories BinaxNOW tests. We will only test a student with parental/guardian consent.

We intend to use this test prior to events where social distancing is impractical, for example, graduation and prom. In order to attend such events, family consent and a negative COVID rapid test will be required. These tests will also be used as point of contact testing, which means a student may need to be tested due to exposure.

What is the test?

The rapid antigen test is a simple and quick, nasal swab test. Results are available in a short period of time. For anyone interested in learning more about the BinaxNOW Covid-19 test, information is available here.

Collecting a specimen for testing involves the student using a swab, similar to a Q-Tip, placed inside her/his own nose. A student will be notified of their negative test result. In the event of a positive test result, the nurse will oversee a confirmatory second test, the parent/guardian will be notified, and isolation procedures will begin. The Covid positive tested student will need to go home immediately, which may require a parent or guardian to pick up the student promptly.

Please remember that any COVID testing done is a snapshot of how a student is at the moment of the test. Students will be expected to continue with our current procedures for masking, temperature checks, and screening via Carmel’s Covid app.

Contact the school nurse if you have any questions. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support as we do our best to keep Carmel Catholic High School safe.
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