Consent Form for COVID-19 Testing
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) offers COVID-19 testing for K-12 students who exhibit COVID symptoms at school. BCPS requires that parents, guardians, and students 18 and older provide formal consent to perform the COVID-19 test at school. Please complete, sign, and return a printed copy of the form at the link above as soon as possible.Consent Form for School Health Services
To ensure the health and safety of students and permit them to receive school health services, when necessary, parents, guardians, and students 18 or older must complete a separate consent form provided at the link above and return a signed form to the school nurse as soon as possible.The Florida Department of Health in Broward County (DOH-Broward), in partnership with Broward County Public Schools and Broward County, is providing voluntary free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations at select Broward County Public Schools.
Can my child attend school virtually like they did last year?
No. While Florida was under a State of Emergency by Governor DeSantis, emergency provisions from the FL Department of Education (FLDOE) allowed students to be taught in a virtual environment. The State of Emergency expired this past summer, along with the emergency provision from FLDOE.
Currently, there are no provisions in Florida Statutes that allow instructional minutes or days to be counted when a student is in a virtual environment, except in two specific circumstances:
- A student is enrolled in a state approved virtual school, e.g., Broward County Virtual School. Broward Virtual School is an option for students to attend school in a full-time virtual environment. A state-approved virtual school option is the only option available for students who wish to attend school virtually full time.
- A student is quarantined at home due to COVID-19.
In this scenario, students may log on to their computer and access their classes (when appropriate) and listen to the instruction being provided by the teacher. They may call ASK BRIA for questions they may have regarding the lesson. This option is ONLY available while a student is quarantining due to being a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person or isolating due to COVID-19 positive.
Why isn’t the Board requiring employees or students to be vaccinated?
The State of Florida has passed legislation forbidding such mandates by school districts. House Bill 1B states that school districts cannot require vaccinations for students or employees. Additionally, districts who violate this requirement can face fines for each violation or must pay for attorney fees and court costs for parents who bring legal action against the district and prevail. This bill was passed by the Legislature on November 17, 2021 and was signed into law by Governor DeSantis on November 18, 2021.
Why isn’t the Board requiring students to wear face coverings?
The State of Florida has passed legislation forbidding such mandates by school districts. House Bill 1B states that school districts cannot require students to wear any type of face covering. Districts who violate this requirement must pay for attorney fees and court costs for parents who bring legal action against the district and prevail. House Bill 1B was passed by the Legislature on November 17, 2021 and was signed into law by Governor DeSantis on November 18, 2021.
BCPS continues to strongly encourage students, staff, visitors and vendors to wear face coverings indoors at any District school, location or vehicle.
Why did the Board require masks at the beginning of the year but aren’t now?
The previous rules and law contained vague language. House Bill 1B is very specific and narrowly defined, and states that school districts cannot require students to wear any type of face covering. House Bill 1B was passed by the Legislature on November 17, 2021 and was signed into law by Governor DeSantis on November 18, 2021.
Do students or employees have to quarantine for five days as the CDC recommends if they are a close contact and are asymptomatic?
Students and employees do not have to quarantine once they have been exposed to COVID-19 as long as they remain asymptomatic and do not have a positive test for COVID-19. Additionally, districts who violate this requirement can face fines for each violation or must pay for attorney fees and court costs for parents who bring legal action against the district and prevail.
Are District staff members or other adults required to wear face coverings on campus?
Effective on February 14, 2022 staff, visitors and vendors are not required – but strongly encouraged - to wear face coverings while inside any District school, facility or vehicle. The same applies to students who are not required to wear face coverings but are strongly encouraged to do so.
Update Regarding COVID-19 Facial Covering and Quarantine Guidance
Broward County Public Schools has been implementing protocols to ensure the health and well-being of our students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to legislation signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, effective immediately, facial coverings will be strongly encouraged but not mandatory in schools for students, staff, vendors, or visitors.
Additionally, asymptomatic students and employees are not required to quarantine if they are a close contact due to COVID-19 exposure.
Who is considered a close contact of someone with COVID-19?
For COVID-19, close contact is anyone who was within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual five-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting two days before they have any symptoms (or, if they are asymptomatic, two days before their specimen that tested positive was collected), until they meet the criteria for discontinuing home isolation.
What should an individual do while awaiting a COVID-19 test result?
It is recommended that individuals awaiting COVID-19 test results do not report to school or work until test results are known. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these three key steps while waiting for your COVID-19 test result:
- Stay home and monitor your health.
- Think about the people who have recently been around.
- Answer the phone call from the health department.
How many symptoms does a person need to have to be considered a suspected COVID-19 case?
Students and staff exhibiting one or more COVID-like symptoms are considered suspect cases and should be immediately evaluated and tested for COVID-19. Schools should evaluate each symptomatic student/staff to determine if this symptom is new or if it is part of an existing condition for the student/staff. See Return to school guidelines for Symptomatic Students/Staff.
Is it possible to have COVID-19 and the Flu at the same time?
Yes. It is possible to test positive for flu (as well as other respiratory infections) and COVID-19 at the same time. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Testing may be needed to confirm a diagnosis.
Can someone test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?
Yes, it is possible. You may test negative if the sample was collected early in your infection and test positive later during the illness. You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and get infected then. Even if you test negative, you still should take steps to protect yourself and others.
Does mask wearing help determine if someone is considered a close contact?
No, a person is still considered a close contact even if one or both people wear a mask when they are together.
What is the difference between seasonal allergies and COVID-19?
COVID-19 and seasonal allergies share many symptoms, but there are some key differences between the two. For example, COVID-19 can cause fever, which is not a common symptom of seasonal allergies. It may be difficult to tell the difference between them, and you may need to get a test to confirm your diagnosis.
Do I need to wear a mask or avoid close contact if I am fully vaccinated (including booster)?
No, a mask is not required if you are fully vaccinated and have received a booster. Per CDC, individuals should wear a mask for 10 days. The District strongly recommends vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors while in public to protect against new virus variants and prevent possible spread to others.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a covid-19 vaccine?
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Is it safe for my child to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Like adults, children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Children 5 years and older are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, including studies in children 5 years and older. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine.
Can I get vaccinated against COVID-19 while I am currently sick with COVID-19?
No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation, those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.
How long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?
It is not known how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What is known is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death in a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
After receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, will I test positive for Covid-19 on a viral or on an antibody test?
COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current COVID-19 infection.
However, if your body develops an immune response to COVID-19, which is the goal of getting vaccinated, you may test positive on some COVID-19 antibody tests. Antibody tests show if you had a previous COVID-19 infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
On May 19, 2021, the FDA sent out an alert to tell people that antibody tests should not be used at this time to determine immunity or protection against COVID-19 at any time, and especially after a person has received a COVID-19 vaccination.
Can you still get Covid-19 if you are vaccinated?
Yes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend vaccinated individuals with symptoms get tested for COVID-19 and wear a face covering. The COVID-19 vaccine help prevent hospitalization and death if you contract the virus. Cases of fully vaccinated individuals contracting coronavirus are possible.
Can an individual receive the COVID-19 vaccine along with other vaccines?
The CDC recommends that it is OK to take the COVID-19 vaccine along with other vaccines.
What is a booster and when can a fully vaccinated person have one?
Like the seasonal flu shot, a booster has been shown to prolong the vaccine’s effectiveness against COVID-19. Boosters are recommended for all ages, not less than six months after the final dose of the vaccine was received.
Should my child get a COVID-19 booster?
The CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older, at least 5 months after completing their primary COVID-19 series (fully vaccinated with two doses), gets a booster. Teens 12-17 years old may only get the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster.
Does a student with COVID-19 symptoms stay at school if the CUE Rapid Test result is negative?
No, students with symptoms will be sent home regardless of Cue Rapid Test results. There are other contagious viruses that cause COVID-19 symptoms that can easily spread in schools if not properly identified. It is recommended that symptomatic students that have a negative Cue Test result be seen by their healthcare provider to rule out other illnesses.
When do we start testing in schools?
Testing in all BCPS schools began September 13, 2021
Is the COVID-19 test mandatory?
No, both symptomatic and surveillance testing at school are voluntary tests and require written and verbal parental consent.
What are the CDC recommendations for COVID-19 testing in schools?
The CDC has identified testing as an important prevention strategy for schools. The use of symptomatic and surveillance testing helps identify people- including those with or without symptoms- who may be contagious, so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus. Testing in schools gives schools and families added assurance that schools can remain open safely for all students and staff.
Which test is administered in BCPS schools and where will the test be done?
The Cue Rapid molecular test is administered in schools on students identified with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 who are referred to the Isolation Room. The testing is performed in the Isolation Room only with written and verbal parental consent on file.
Is the Cue rapid Test FDA and EUA approved?
Yes, the Cue Rapid Test has received an Emergency use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Who will be administering COVID-19 testing in schools?
Trained School Nurses administer COVID-19 testing in schools.
Is the Cue- Rapid COVID-19 test a deep nasal swab?
No, the Cue Rapid test swabs the inner part of the lower nostril. The test is not painful. We do not use the longer swabs that reach higher in the nose.
How long does it take for results?
The results of the test are usually available within 20 minutes.
Who is paying for the Cue Rapid Test in schools?
The Florida Department of Health has allocated funds through grants to cover the costs of testing in schools. The COVID-19 test is free for all students.
Is Surveillance testing mandatory? Which groups are being tested and the frequency of testing?
No, it is not mandatory. Surveillance testing is provided by the Department of Health (DOH) for selected sports teams, bands and chorus and the frequency determined by DOH.
Does the Cue Rapid Swab contain ethylene oxide?
As part of the CUE nasal swab production process, ethylene oxide (EO) is used to sterilize the swab like most plastic sterile medical devices. There is zero residue from this process, and they are hypoallergenic.
Generally speaking, EO is one of the most accepted safe forms of sterilization for medical equipment, pharmaceutical packaging (swabs, tubes, bottles), devices, etc. For Cue nasal swabs, industry validated procedures for EO sterilization via Puritain, which is the largest swab maker in the US. The validated procedure for sterilization includes a de-gassing phase that ensures the final sterilized product is within acceptable limits for EO.
This Coronavirus (Covid-19) Notification Form is to be used by Broward County Public Schools staff, parents, students, vendors, volunteers and other community members to report a positive result of COVID-19, or have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine/self-isolate, AND who have been inside a Broward County Public School or administrative building.