Covid-19 Testing Update

COVID-19 Testing Update 1/5/2022
Posted on 01/05/2022

January 5, 2022


Dear Fort Edward Parents and Guardians.

The following is an important update regarding the district’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic. 


The top priority of the Fort Edward Union Free School District is to offer a safe and secure environment where students can attend in-person learning 100% of the time.


As shared with you last week via a robocall and our social media accounts you may be aware, that throughout the holiday recess, the NYS Department of Health, Governor Huchol and state health commissioner Dr. Bassett all released guidance memos that address potential new protocols related to school districts and COVID 19.  Included within these messages was a statement that over 37 million rapid tests had been ordered by the state and that these tests would be delivered to each school district for use and distribution.


This morning we received 390 test kits.   These tests come with instructions for use that must be followed whether given at home or at school.  (Directions and a video on how to utilize these tests are posted on our website.) Please be aware that tests given at home by a parent will be considered advisory to the family and cannot be accepted by the school as an official test result.  If you would like a test kit to use at home for your child, tests are available for pick up and sign out in the district’s nurses office. Tests will be available Thursday, January 6, 2022. We are only able to issue one test per student.


The district is in the process of planning to offer a test to stay program.  This requires the district to apply for a Limited Lab License with the NYS Health Department.  Once we receive permission to engage with testing we will provide you with more information regarding the test to stay program.  We have been told the process takes approximately three to four weeks until approval is granted.


Test to stay will allow us to screen, for asymptomatic unvaccinated school-based close contacts of a COVID positive individual to avoid school exclusion (but not other restrictions of quarantine) by testing negative through serial testing using the rapid NAAT tests we have been provided during a seven-day period following exposure. When approved -The exposed person will be required to test before school in the nurse’s office a minimum of three times during a 7 day period following exposure. The person must have a negative test and be asymptomatic to return, but can do so while under county quarantine under this guidance. With the exception of attending school, the student/person is still quarantined for all other activities, including extracurricular. Besides acquiring a lab license, having an adequate testing supply will eventually determine our ability to implement and sustain this program.


It continues to be critically important that if your student is displaying any COVID-like symptoms or is not feeling well, students, faculty and staff are still required to follow the NYS DOH algorithm for return to school.


As always, I continue to appreciate your patience and support as we work through this challenging time together.


On behalf of the district administration, faculty, staff, and Board of Education I would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year.




Mark Bessen

Interim Superintendent