LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — Greenbrier County schools will implement a test to stay program district-wide beginning on Tuesday that will change how the school handles COVID-19 exposures. 

Parents will have two options — keep their child home for five days and monitor for symptoms or if they are not exhibiting symptoms or keep their child in school and test them for COVID-19 twice during a five-day period. Both options require students to wear masks for ten days following exposure. 

The goal of the program is to keep kids in school while also taking extra mitigation measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

“Most children now that need to quarantine, most of our students, it is a lunchroom exposure and it is pretty rare for a student to end up testing positive after that exposure so this will keep students in school even if they have had an exposure like that,” Lead School Nurse Paula McCoy said.

Greenbrier County Schools will supply rapid antigen COVID-19 tests to parents while supplies are available. 

McCoy said there will be a website available for parents who opt into the test to stay program that walks them through the process of uploading test results. 

“If at any point a student would test positive, we ask that the parents would go ahead and quarantine them and a send-out test to a lab is recommended too, just to verify that result,” McCoy said.

Superintendent Jeff Bryant said the Board of Education approved the program because he believes it will reassure parents about the safety of their children in school as community transmission of COVID-19 remains high.  

“This program, if followed as prescribed, will provide that layer of blanket security that our parents and children need,” Bryant said.

McCoy told 59News the district did a soft rollout of the program last week and it will be available district-wide beginning Tuesday, January 18th, 2022.