January 5, 2021
Dear SAA-SDS Community,
As we move into the new year we remain ever vigilant in our efforts to keep our school community healthy and safe. Beginning the week of January 11 we will administer the rapid antigen test, BinaxNow, as a voluntary, asymptomatic weekly testing program on campus for all faculty and staff, Upper School, and Junior High students.
While we remain confident in the protocols we have in place, we see weekly testing as another powerful tool to safeguard our community. The BinaxNow rapid antigen test is offered by the state of Tennessee at no charge to the school and provides results in approximately 20 minutes. Because this type of test can be administered so frequently, it will help spot someone who is contagious and potentially stop an outbreak before it spreads.
Ignorance is not bliss! Many people infected with COVID-19 never feel sick. This means you could be positive, asymptomatic, and infecting friends, family, classmates, and teachers without even knowing it. They could become much sicker than you. According to the CDC, as many as 4 out of 10 people who have COVID-19 may not show symptoms.
Taking the test is simple, fast, free, convenient, and will protect you, your loved ones and our school community. To be effective, we need everyone to participate. The greater the participation, the greater the likelihood we will be successful in our efforts to stop the spread, keep our school open for on-campus learning, and protect each other and our families.
How It Works
- We will offer weekly COVID-19 testing on campus for all faculty and staff, Upper School & Junior High students who would like to participate. Testing is voluntary.
- Testing will be mandatory for all contact sport student-athletes in grades 7-12.
- At this time, Lower School students will not be tested as statistics show that younger children are less likely to transmit the virus.
- Testing will be conducted every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the isolation rooms in the SAA and SDS buildings. Testing will not conflict with class time.
The test is quick and will be administered by a healthcare professional. It is not a deep nasal swab, but rather a minimally invasive anterior nasal swab.
- A student who tests positive will be sent home, and we recommend a follow-up PCR test within 24 hours to confirm.
To opt-in to the testing program please fill out the Google Consent Form. Forms must be completed by Friday, January 8 to begin testing the week of January 11.
We remain focused on providing the best educational experience for our students in the safest environment possible. It is important to remember that testing is only another layer in our defense against COVID-19. Even with testing, everyday prevention measures such as mask-wearing, handwashing, avoiding crowds, and physical distancing should always be practiced.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we work together to keep our community safe.