Jacobs seeks test-to-stay option for students over mandatory quarantine

Posted 10 November 2021 at 4:19 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Jacobs

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) led a letter with Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Congressman Burgess Owens (UT-04), and Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02) calling for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide guidance on a test-to-stay option for unvaccinated students exposed to Covid-19.

“For the past two years, we have seen the impact of virtual and distance learning on our students’ educational progress, and social and emotional well-being,” Jacobs said. “Every day spent out of the classroom negatively impacts the development of our students and burdens parents with logistical concerns.”

Currently, the CDC maintains blanket guidance stating any unvaccinated individual exposed to Covid-19 must quarantine regardless of test results. Under a test-to-stay model, close contacts of a Covid-positive student are given daily rapid tests instead of quarantining. As long as they continue to test negative, they stay in school. Recent data from Erie and Niagara counties show that only about 1.5% of close contacts in schools end up testing positive for Covid-19. Additionally, Utah and Massachusetts have both successfully implemented test-to-stay models.

“Healthy students who have tested negative for Covid-19 should be allowed to stay in the classroom and continue in-person learning,” Jacobs said. “Recently, New York State has allowed school districts to decide to implement test-to-stay, but CDC guidance is critical to giving these districts more direction. It is time for the CDC to follow the science, drop overburdensome blanket quarantine rules, and implement common-sense guidance that allows healthy students to remain in the classroom.”