September 13, 2021
COVID Surveillance Testing
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Westchester County and its schools are committed to working together for a safe return to in-person learning for students, teachers, and staff.
This will be achieved if the County, public and private school systems, parents, and students cooperate to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools and keep one another safe. This is especially important given the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant.
As part of our shared effort, Blind Brook is pleased to announce that we, along with schools across Westchester County, are partnering with Westchester County Department of Health’s testing partner Mirimus, Inc., to offer the County’s COVID-19 screening testing program at no charge. The program is funded with grant monies.
The program relies on two testing strategies:
- Initial testing of all students, teachers, and staff within the first two weeks of school
- Voluntary weekly testing of 20% of all students, teachers, and staff thereafter
Regular testing will allow early detection of COVID-19 in pre-symptomatic and/or asymptomatic individuals. Early detection means that we can more effectively mitigate virus transmission in schools. Preventing a COVID-19 outbreak in school is key to ensuring our students and staff remain safe so that we can provide the education and support our students’ needs. The more participants we test, the more effective our surveillance program will be.
All students, teachers, and staff (vaccinated AND unvaccinated) are highly encouraged to participate in this free, school-based COVID-19 screening testing program. The program will use non-invasive, self-collected saliva samples that are appropriate and painless for all ages. Samples will be processed using accurate and reliable PCR analysis—the gold standard of COVID-19 testing— to identify positive cases.
Please read and complete the attached consent forms for each student in your household (or for yourself, if teacher/staff). In order to participate in testing during the first weeks of school, we encourage you to consent as soon as possible. Otherwise, you can consent at any point for enrollment in the weekly 20% screening testing program. Once you consent, Blind Brook will contact you with more details regarding the testing program.
Dr. Patrick Brimstein
CC: Dr. Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of Health, Westchester County Department of Health
The Westchester County Schools COVID-19 Screening Testing Program is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $15,800,820 with 100 percent funded by the CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by the CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/.