Governor Lamont Announces Survey Results of School Districts Participating in the COVID-19 Screen and Stay Initiative
More Than 80% Of All Public School Districts Are Implementing Screen and Stay
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that more than 80% of public school districts in Connecticut are opting to participate in the state’s COVID-19 Screen and Stay initiative, according to the results of a survey recently conducted by the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Under the initiative, which was announced by the governor last month, K-12 students and school staff identified as close contacts to a known COVID-19 case but who are not yet fully vaccinated will be able to remain in school if they were wearing masks and don’t develop symptoms. Districts have the option of participating.
“Screen and Stay is one of the critical tools in our toolbox to keep schools open, and most importantly, keep our students in school,” Governor Lamont said. “Some of the most important moments for children are those that are spent in the classroom, learning both social and educational skills among their peers and with their teachers. We want to maximize the amount of time spent in school, while minimizing disruption, and keeping our students, staff, and administrators safe.”
The survey, which was conducted between November 18 and December 6, found that 162 districts (81.4%) have chosen to participate and 28 districts (14.1%) are opting not to participate. The remaining 9 districts (4.5%) reported to the state that they are undecided. Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker noted that the survey results may not reflect current participation as districts continue to have the ability to opt in.
“Cross-agency efforts have been aimed at getting and keeping our students learning in person, where they learn best and have access to a continuum of supports from staff, nutritious meals, physical activity, and more,” Commissioner Russell-Tucker said. “The Connecticut State Department of Education is actively working with districts to maintain access to safe, healthy, and enriching in-person learning opportunities.”
“The rates of COVID with in-class masked transmission among students and faculty are extremely low,” Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani said. “Aside from COVID, there are a lot of things children growing up today have to face, and being in the classroom is exquisitely important to keep their education on track. We saw data from other states that implemented similar programs to Screen and Stay, which showed low rates of transmission even with the Delta variant. It is because of this science, coupled with paying attention to the social, behavioral, and emotional wellness of students, that we have accomplished more than 80% participation with this program.”