Mask to Stay; Test to Play Guidance
Mask to Stay / Test to Play Questions and Answers
Do fully vaccinated students have to test to play/perform?
No. According to the Stark County Health Department, fully vaccinated students, who are NOT symptomatic, can participate, but still wear a mask when able.
Are masks required on school-provided transportation?
Yes. Masks still must be worn on school-provided transportation due to a CDC order.
Why do these guidelines not apply to out-of-school settings?
We are following guidance from the Ohio Department of Health. That guidance states, "Eligibility to participate in mask to stay/test to play is contingent on the exposure being in the school setting or school-related activities. This does not apply to household exposures or exposures outside of the school setting or school-related activities."
What is the definition of school setting?
School-sanctioned activities are included within the definition. This includes lunch, recess, and school-sponsored extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs. When the setting is a true classroom setting, (examples are band, choir, gym) that takes place during the school day and is considered a true class, Mask-to-Stay guidance can be followed. In order to participate in any extracurricular activities, the requirements of Test to Play must be met.
What are the details of testing for Test to Play?
• If the student was exposed within the classroom environment, the existing K-12 Quarantine guidance should be used to determine whether any additional follow-up is needed.
• If a student is exposed within the extracurricular/sports setting, the quarantine alternatives can be implemented: the contact should wear a mask to the greatest extent possible and be tested immediately upon being identified as a contact and again 5-7 days following exposure.
• Provided the contact remains asymptomatic, wears a mask, and is negative on testing, they can continue to participate in sports throughout the “quarantine alternative” period.
• A self-test reported test through the Navica app does not qualify. Only tests that are truly proctored (observed at the time of testing) and reported meet the qualification for Test to Play.
• Under Test to Play, the contact must be tested immediately upon being identified as a contact (within 24 hours). If a contact is not identified until 5 or more days after exposure, a single test may be used to allow the individual to continue to participate in extracurricular activities.
• If the initial test is not performed, then the contact is not eligible to participate in Test to Play and cannot participate in extracurricular activities until they have completed their quarantine period (a 7-day reduced duration quarantine with a negative viral test performed 5-7 days after exposure is applicable for all contacts).
• If tests are refused, the student is not eligible to participate in Test-to-Play and should be excluded from extracurricular activities for the duration of their quarantine.
Can students continue to participate/perform in activities awaiting test results?
Yes, if the individual continues to wear a mask as much as possible and remains symptom-free, they can continue to participate in school activities while awaiting test results.
What if I choose not to follow the "Mask to Stay" guidelines and wear a mask for 14 days?
Anyone identified as a close contact of a school-setting positive case who chooses not to wear a mask for 14 days to stay in school must quarantine for 14 days.
Do the "Mask to Stay/Test to Play" guidelines apply to sleepovers?
No. These guidelines apply only to in-school settings and school-related activities. If someone in a family setting tests positive for COVID-19, do NOT send children to school in a mask. Family members of a positive family case should quarantine for 14 days. These guidelines do NOT apply to social settings outside of school-related activities.
I received a negative PCR or antigen test between days 5-7, what happens next?
Those students and staff identified as in-school direct contacts can provide their proctored test results to their school health professional and return to school after Day 7.
Students and staff identified as in-school direct contacts in a school activity setting must follow the "Test to Play" guidelines found here. Students and staff must receive a negative PCR or antigen test when initially identified as a direct contact and again on days 5-7 in order to continue to participate.
Do I have to wear a mask if I'm identified as a in school direct contact if I have a medical waiver?
Anyone identified as a close contact of a positive case in a school setting must wear a mask for 14 days and follow the "Mask to Stay" guidance from the Ohio Department of Health. Anyone who chooses not to wear a mask, regardless of the reason, must quarantine at home for 14 days.
What is the process for student-athletes and performers?
Student-athletes and performers who are identified as in-school direct contacts can continue to participate if they are not symptomatic and:
Wear a mask at all practical times (transportation, locker rooms, sitting/standing on sideline/bench, and any time the mask will not interfere with breathing, the activity, or create a safety hazard).
Test negative on initial notification of COVID-19 exposure.
Test negative again on days 5-7.
If the student-athlete/performer tests positive at any point he/she will be isolated for 14 days.