Local schools begin "test to stay" program to help keep students in class

by Aaron Price
by Aaron Price

1/5/2022 | 5:43 p.m.

FRANKLIN COUNTY - Several local schools are beginning a new program in an effort to help keep students in the classroom.

One local school district, Frankfort Community Unit School District 168, is giving students the option to voluntarily "test to stay" if they come in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

"Up until now, if a student is confirmed as a close contact with a COVID-positive person, they would be excluded from school to quarantine. This would mean they would miss a period of time of in-person learning while they waited to see if symptoms would develop," said West Frankfort Superintendent Matt Donkin.

"With the change to a Test-to-Stay protocol, if a student is confirmed as a close contact with a COVID positive person at school or at a school-sponsored event or trip, students and staff will have the option to be tested at school with a rapid antigen test (in our case, BinaxNOW test) on days one, three, five, and seven from the date of exposure. Students and staff then may stay at school and in class as long as they do not show symptoms, follow proper face covering protocols, and continue to test negative."

More information on how local school districts are using this program can be found by visiting the Illinois Department of Public Health website at

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