Niagara County still on the fence about “test to stay”

Niagara County

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Health departments across western New York have a decision to make, and that’s whether to allow the “test to stay” option in schools.

It allows unvaccinated students exposed to COVID-19 to show a negative test so they can stay in school, instead of being forced to quarantine.

They must show negative tests seven days in a row, which would require testing over the weekend.

Allegany County leaders have already decided they won’t allow it. But health officials in Niagara County are still on the fence.

MORE | Allegany County will not offer Test to Stay option

They say most of the districts support the idea. But there are some obstacles, like getting testing supplies. Currently, there’s a shortage in the rapid antigen tests schools will be required to use.

One district leader says getting shots into the arms of kids could open up a new solution to these barriers.

Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton says “One other option we’re looking at if a student is vaccinated and they come in contact with a positive case, they don’t need to quarantine.”

The New York State Department of Health doesn’t support the “test to stay” option. So, they won’t be providing resources like COVID-19 tests to schools who adopt this measure.

That’s also why the Allegany County Department of Health decided not to adopt “test to stay.” Rapid testing resources are not readily available across the county.


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