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District 300 to offer optional in-school COVID-19 tests

Du Quoin staff report
updated: 11/9/2021 12:27 AM

Du Quoin District 300 will begin offering COVID-19 testing to students who are identified as close contacts of a positive coronavirus case, so more noninfected students can remain in class and not be mandated to an at-home quarantine, the administration has announced.

Starting Nov. 8, the district will offer COVID-19 testing on-site for students at school who are presenting possible symptoms of COVID-19; along with a Test-to-Stay option for students identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case at school.

"As we continue to navigate through the impacts of COVID-19 in our schools and the changing guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health, we are committed to making the necessary adjustments to help us keep as many students at school as possible while doing our part to mitigate the spread of the virus," wrote Superintendent Matt Hickam in a message to parents.

District 300 will use Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen tests provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Students will need to have a parental consent form on file with the district, in order for their children to be tested.

Hickam said the testing of students who are symptomatic is for students who start presenting symptoms while they are at school.

"If your child presents symptoms at home, please do not send them to school," he added.

The Test-to-Stay option, per the IDPH, is only for students who have a close contact with a positive case in the school setting and is not an option for students with a household close contact.

Students eligible to use this option will be tested every other day for the required period (as many as 7 days). If a student utilizing this option remains symptom free and tests negative for COVID-19, they remain at school for the duration of the testing period.

Per IDPH guidance revised on Oct. 19, 2021, successful completion of the testing period (again, as many as 7 days) with negative tests also allows for a return to full extracurricular participation/competition although masking is required for all school activities for 14 days.

Consent forms are available at, or in the main office of each school.

The form must be returned in order for a child to participate in either the testing when symptomatic or to use the test-to-stay option. Once completed, the testing consent form should be returned to the main office of your child's school.

How is the testing done: Members of the nursing staff will conduct testing with BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen test, which includes swabbing the inner part of the lower nostril. The longer swabs that reach higher into the nose are no longer used.

Where and when?: School testing sites will be in nursing office areas. Students utilizing the test-to-stay option will be tested in the morning before school starts. Results will be available within approximately 15 minutes.

Will my child's information be protected?: Sharing of information about your child will be done only for public health purposes and in accordance with applicable law and policies protecting student privacy and the security of your child's data.

Parents who do not want their children tested for COVID-19 at school do not need to do anything.


Contact your child's school nursing office by contacting the main office for Du Quoin Elementary School (618-542-2646), Du Quoin Middle School (618-542-2646), or Du Quoin High School (618-542-4744).