Arlington Public Schools gets needed OK to start ‘test-to-stay’ program

Schools in Arlington received the authorization needed from Virginia to participate in the health department’s “Test to Stay” program, Superintendent Francisco Durán wrote in a letter to the school community.

The aim of test-to-stay policies is to allow close contacts of students infected with the coronavirus to remain in classrooms if they test negative.

The policy applies to students who aren’t fully vaccinated.



School systems are able to keep students in classrooms and limit the number of absences by doing serial COVID-19 testing and contract tracing, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Test-to-stay is backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The program is one that parents have urged Arlington Public Schools to adopt.

The Arlington school system will use Virginia’s approved materials and requirements.

“Once the test kits purchased for staff and students are received, we will use the remaining kits to implement the program in APS. As part of this process, we will be launching a portal for parents to document the vaccination status of their students,” Durán wrote.

Arlington Public Schools will share more information on eligibility and enrollment in the coming weeks.

Fairfax County has a test-to-stay program in the schools. In Maryland, students in Montgomery County also are participating in one.


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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