Questions and Answers regarding COVID-19 Testing of Students and Staff in the Event Central Islip Enters a Yellow Zone

Central Islip School District
New York State’s Micro-Cluster Initiative
COVID-19 School-Based Testing 
Questions and Answers 


  1. Who will be performing the actual swab? The Registered Nurses within the Central Islip School District and/or Registered Nurses from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services will be conducting the testing. They have trained to conduct testing in accordance with best practices and the guidelines of the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

  2. What does the test consist of? This test, the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card, is best described as a non-invasive nostril swab. This is not the deep nasal swab that is conducted in a PCR test, but rather a nasal swab is placed inside the lower portion of the nostril and rotated around the nostril five times to collect a specimen. 

  3. How will parents obtain testing results? Results will be ready within approximately 15 minutes of taking the test. Parents will be notified immediately if their child tests positive. All negative test results will be mailed home. 

  4. How will results be kept and my child’s HIPAA rights be protected? The District will adhere to all privacy laws, as it does with all other matters involving our students, faculty, and staff. 

  5. If one does not consent, can the child still attend school in-person? At this time, yes. So long as there are enough members of the in-person school community (students, staff, and faculty) who are willing to be tested (20% per two weeks if we enter a yellow zone), and we are not officially designated as a “zone” by New York State, the school will remain open. If the 20% mark cannot be met and the District is declared a “zone”, the District may not be able to offer in-person instruction and will have no choice but to shift to full remote operation. If the District is declared an "orange" or "red" zone, the District would need to increase testing protocols. Also, other businesses and functions in the community would be impacted as well. Click here to read more.  

  6. My child(ren) are remote learners. Do they need to be tested? No, only students attending in-person instruction need to be tested.

  7. Where will testing occur? Testing will occur at district schools. The testing sites within the building will be segregated from instructional areas, socially-distanced, and in a sanitized location. 

  8. Who is paying for this "free test kit"? The testing kits will be provided "free" by the NYSDOH. Certainly, the tests were not "free" but the test kit cost burden is not on families, the community, the District, or Suffolk County. 

  9. Can parents be present while their child is being tested? We expect that a 20 percent testing requirement will require many tests per day over a two-week period. While we understand that the desire to be with your child as they are tested is strong, please understand that this is not logistically possible. School staff will be present to provide comfort and familiarity through the process. At this time, due to COVID-19 restrictions, visitation to the buildings is not permitted.
  10. Will parents be notified if their child is randomly selected to be tested? The testing schedule will be established the day before each test and parents will be informed if your child has been selected. 

  11. How often will children be tested? At this time, it is expected that your child will only be tested once. 

  12. Will faculty, staff, and administration be tested? All willing individuals, as noted in the Willingness to Test Survey, will be randomly selected to test.

  13. I will not provide consent for my child to be tested, what will happen?  The District will not test your child without your consent. As long as we receive 20% of our in-person population, we may remain open. Should we not receive 20% of willing participants, the District will be forced to have 100% remote learning.
  14. Can I have my own physician test my child for COVID-19? Yes, you may elect to have your child tested by an outside provider to fulfill the 20% mandate. However, the testing must be conducted during the two week period of the yellow zone designation. The results must also be provided to the District during that allotted time.

  15. Your form says: "I authorize my child’s test results and other information to be disclosed…” Positive tests must be reported to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. The District will follow applicable state and federal privacy laws.
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