With COVID infection rates in double digits in Connecticut and backlogs at testing facilities, the state has updated its testing guidance. In a letter sent to school superintendents on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, the state authorized the use of home tests for unvaccinated educators and school staff for a limited time.
Read the letter below.
Dear Superintendents and Independent/Private School Administrators,
We are writing to update our e-mail of December 22, 2021, which followed the December 20, 2021, announcement by Governor Ned Lamont and DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani of a two-week pause in the enforcement of the vaccination mandate set forth in Executive Order No. 13G, which was designed to help aid state agencies and schools in staffing their facilities over the coming weeks.
In our December 22 e-mail, we had advised that covered, non-vaccinated school staff must submit a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to work as of the outset of the post-holiday resumption of school. Although this requirement essentially shortens the two-week period announced by Governor Lamont and Commissioner Juthani, it is deemed necessary to help ensure a safe learning environment for students and staff.
Given the reported increased difficulty in obtaining testing, however, we are updating our December 22 guidance to permit, in this limited situation, home or self-testing with an FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 test kit as an acceptable testing method to comply with the weekly testing requirements for workers who are exempt from or who opted out of vaccination. Nonetheless, even those covered workers who use such home or self-testing must still comply with the obligation to provide required documentation of a negative test prior to returning to school, and schools are still required collect or maintain the required documentation of same.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, any covered workers demonstrating symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection should not be in school.
Thank you in advance for your continued cooperation with the vaccine order and other COVID-19 mitigation measures.