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Ohio COVID-19 School Evaluation

An Ohio COVID-19 School Evaluation that includes rapid testing will be starting in Princeton City School District this week. We will be one of nine school districts in Ohio that will participate in a rapid coronavirus test pilot public health evaluation. This voluntary program is being sponsored by Governor DeWine’s office, the Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio Department of Insurance.

The quick test will be done on voluntary participants, with parental and student consent. The test can be performed quickly with results in about 20 minutes. The purpose is to determine if and how cases are spread among children, regardless of symptoms.

See below for more information:

Ohio COVID-19 School Evaluation at Princeton City Schools

Frequently Asked Questions

Princeton City School District is one of only nine school districts in the state selected to participate in the Ohio COVID-19 School Evaluation (OCSE) that Governor DeWine has ordered. The study will be evaluating close contacts of positive cases in a school setting to determine whether or not students should in fact be required to quarantine for 14 days as is currently the practice. 

Please reference this comprehensive FAQ to learn more about the evaluation. 

What is the purpose of the Ohio COVID-19 School Evaluation (OCSE)?

Since COVID-19 was first discovered in late 2019, we have learned a lot about the virus. And we keep learning more about it.


When someone has COVID-19, they are asked to stay home to protect others. This process is called isolation. In addition, people that have been close to the person with COVID-19 are also asked to stay home. These people are called close contacts and the process of staying home is called quarantine. A close contact for COVID-19 is usually identified as those individuals who have been within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes. Even if the person with COVID-19 and the close contact are both wearing masks correctly, anyone who is within 6 feet for 15 minutes is still considered a close contact.

When the people involved are school children, the close contact children are asked to stay home from school. These children can miss a lot of in-person learning.

The goal of the evaluation is to determine if close contact children need to stay home and miss school even if both the close contacts and the child with COVID-19 were wearing masks correctly. 

Why is Princeton participating in OCSE? 

As the number of positive cases in Ohio has been on the rise, so too have the positive cases in our schools. In spite of this trend, our district has had minimal confirmed classroom spread, consistent with other schools across the state.

By participating in this evaluation, we have an opportunity to keep more students and staff learning at school, rather than remotely. In addition to keeping our students and staff safe, this has been our top priority since the start of the pandemic. 

Which Princeton buildings are included in the study? 

Not all of the buildings will be participating in this study. Once the study begins, testing of close contacts and control groups of students will occur in buildings that have a positive case(s).  With just three field study experts assigned to our district, this is the most efficient way to study multiple grade levels and include as many students and staff as possible.

What will happen during the OCSE?

In-school learning will continue as usual during the evaluation. If a child or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms during the evaluation period, they will have to stay home for at least 10 days. The school and the local health department will continue to identify close contacts to the positive individual.

Princeton students and staff who are identified as close contacts, and wore a mask properly and consistently, may be asked to participate in the study. If we receive parental consent, these close contacts would be able to stay in school if they test and are negative for COVID-19. By agreeing to participate in the study, the close contacts would receive a nasal swab test twice a week for two weeks, four tests total. 

The test uses a swab that is put in the front part of the nose for a few seconds. The test is described more below. If you or your child is a close contact and you do not agree to get tested as part of this evaluation, you must stay home from school for until the end of the quarantine period.

Serving as a control group, some children in the school who are not close contacts will also be asked to have tests for COVID-19. These students will be tested at school twice over a two week period.

High school students in the evaluation will be asked to answer a short survey about their activities. The survey takes about 15 minutes.

Parents of children who are close contacts or are selected to be a part of the testing program will be asked to give consent for their child’s participation. They will also be asked to do a short survey about their children’s activities. The survey takes about 15 minutes.

Teachers of students who are close contacts and of students who are included as comparison students will be asked to complete a short questionnaire. The survey takes about 15 minutes. 

If a teacher has a student with COVID-19 in their class and is not a close contact, the teacher will be offered an opportunity to test for COVID-19 as well. The teacher may decide whether to have the test—it is not mandatory.

How is this evaluation maintaining the safety of all students and staff in participating buildings? 

In addition to the trends we’ve seen in our schools that suggest minimal classroom spread in light of all our safety precautions, the Ohio Department of Health and its lead epidemiologists have sanctioned this evaluation and deemed it safe for all participating districts. 

Who can participate in the study? 

Only students or staff who are identified as close contacts or part of a control group will have the opportunity to opt into the evaluation. Both the child or staff member with COVID-19 and close contact must have been wearing a mask properly and consistently. Participants may stay in school for the duration of the evaluation unless they test positive or begin showing symptoms. 

Serving as a control group, some children in the school who are not close contacts will also be asked to have tests for COVID-19. We will contact the control group students’ parents for permission.

Because of the limited number of field study experts and limited days they will spend in our schools each week, we may not be able to include every close contact to positive cases. How many are included will be determined by the field staff.

If a staff member or student is in quarantine because of a non-school case (i.e. someone in the same household tested positive, you traveled to a high-risk location, etc.), you are not eligible to participate in the study. 

How does the COVID-19 test work?

The test being used is called the “BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card.” It is made by Abbot Laboratories. The test detects tiny pieces of the coronavirus called proteins. The test can be performed quickly with results in about 20 minutes.

The test is performed using a swab that is put in the nose. The swab looks like a typical cotton swab (Q-tip). It is put up a nostril no more than one inch, rotated 5 times, and then repeated in the other nostril. The swab is then put on the test card. The person collecting the swab will be a trained health professional.

How often will participants in the evaluation be tested?

The close contact will be tested two times a week (Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday) for two weeks. So, they will be tested a total of four times. 

If a child is chosen to be tested who is not a close contact as part of the control group, the child will be tested once a week for two weeks. So, they will be tested a total of two times.

Staff who decide to be tested because they have a positive case in their class will be tested once. If during the evaluation, he/she has another student test positive, they may opt to be tested again. 

Will I get the results of any tests performed on me or my child?

If a staff member or child is tested, you will get test results. Test results will not be shared with any other parents or students.

What will happen if a staff or student participant has a positive COVID-19 test?

If a staff member or student has a positive test, he/she will need to stay home from school because they are very likely to have COVID-19. Such cases will need to stay isolated and away from other children and other family members as much as possible. Parents and other household members will need to wear a mask to protect themselves when close to the positive individual. Usually, a child or staff member has to stay home for 10 days after a positive COVID-19 test. The local health department will give you more information if this happens.

How long will this evaluation last?

This full evaluation will last several weeks. If your child is asked to participate, they will participate for two weeks, the same duration of a quarantine period. If you are asked to complete a survey, the survey will take about 15 minutes.

What are the benefits of this evaluation?

The biggest benefit to this evaluation is that we will learn about the appropriate and safest procedures for schools to follow when they have COVID-19 cases in their school. We will learn whether children who are close contacts do in fact need to stay home for risk of contracting the virus, assuming that they and the positive case wore masks properly in school. 

The benefit of participating in the study is learning whether a student or staff member has COVID-19. With this knowledge, our parents and staff can better protect their family members and by taking the appropriate steps in the home.

What are the risks of this evaluation?

Children or staff members who are found to be close contacts even though they are wearing masks might still test positive for COVID-19. They might expose others to COVID-19 in the process. By testing these individuals four times over two weeks, if they do have COVID-19, they will be identified quickly and will be required to stay home so that others don’t come into contact with them. Participants will also monitor closely for COVID-19 symptoms and go into isolation immediately if any appear. 

Children who get a swab test may be uncomfortable, but this is uncommon.

Who is sponsoring this evaluation?

This evaluation is a collaboration between the State of Ohio Governor’s Office, the Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Insurance, and school districts throughout the state.

Who is managing this evaluation?

This evaluation is being run by The Ohio State University with assistance from Wright State University, Ohio University, and Post-Acute Rapid Response Team (PARTT).

What will be done with the information from this evaluation?

The general results of this evaluation will be shared with the State of Ohio Governor’s Office, the Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Insurance, and the participating school districts.

The individual data, meaning the information about your child and you, will be kept at Ohio State in a highly secure way with very limited access. Only those people directly involved in this evaluation would be able to see that information.

At some point in the future, after all information that could link you and your child to the data is removed, the data may be used to help researchers understand the potential benefits and risks of mask usage for COVID-19.

Can I withdraw consent for my child’s participation?

Yes. You can withdraw consent for your child to participate at any time.


If I want more information, who should I contact?

Emilie Bailey, MA

Project Manager

Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center





Una importante evaluación de COVID-19 está comenzando en el Distrito Escolar de la Ciudad de Princeton. Seremos uno de los diez distritos escolares del estado de Ohio que participarán en una evaluación de salud pública piloto de prueba rápida de coronavirus. Este programa voluntario está patrocinado por la Oficina del Gobernador DeWine, el Departamento de Medicaid de Ohio, el Departamento de Salud de Ohio y el Departamento de Seguros de Ohio.

¿Qué es COVID-19?

COVID-19, a veces llamado coronavirus, es una enfermedad causada por un virus, SARS-CoV-2. Si alguien contrae COVID-19, generalmente se enferma y tiene fiebre, escalofríos, tos y es posible que sienta que le cuesta respirar. Algunas personas necesitan ir al hospital y muchas personas han muerto.

¿Cuál es el propósito de la Evaluación Escolar COVID-19 de Ohio (OCSE)?

Desde que COVID-19 se descubrió por primera vez a finales de 2019, hemos aprendido mucho sobre el virus. Y seguimos aprendiendo más sobre eso.

Cuando alguien tiene COVID-19, se le pide que se quede en casa para proteger a los demás. Este proceso se llama aislamiento. Además, a las personas que han estado cercanas a la persona con COVID-19 también se les pide que se queden en casa. Estas personas se denominan contactos cercanos y el proceso de quedarse en casa se llama cuarentena. Un contacto cercano para COVID-19 generalmente se basa en estar dentro de los 6 pies (o a veces 3 pies) durante al menos 15 minutos. Incluso si la persona con COVID-19 y el contacto cercano están usando máscaras correctamente, cualquier persona que esté dentro de los 6 pies durante 15 minutos todavía se considera un contacto cercano.

Cuando las personas involucradas son niños de edad escolar, se les pide a los niños de contacto cercano que no vayan a la escuela. Estos niños pueden faltar mucho a la escuela.

El objetivo de la evaluación es ver si los niños en contacto cercano necesitan quedarse en casa y faltar a la escuela, incluso si tanto los contactos cercanos como el niño con COVID-19 usaban máscaras correctamente.

¿Qué sucederá durante la Evaluación Escolar COVID-19 de Ohio (OCSE)?

La escuela continuará como de costumbre durante la evaluación. Si un niño tiene COVID-19 durante la evaluación, el niño tendrá que quedarse en casa durante al menos 10 días. La escuela y el departamento de salud local encontrarán a los niños que estén en contacto cercano con el niño con COVID-19.

En su escuela, se le pedirá a cada niño que sea un contacto cercano que se quede en casa, incluso si ambos niños llevaban una máscara. Pero para ver si estos niños de contacto cercano tienen COVID-19, se les pedirá que vayan a la escuela dos veces por semana durante dos semanas para hacerse una prueba de COVID-19. La prueba utiliza un hisopo que se coloca en la parte frontal de la nariz durante unos segundos. La prueba se describe más abajo.

A algunos niños de la escuela que no sean contactos cercanos también se les pedirá que se realicen pruebas de COVID-19.

A los estudiantes de secundaria en la evaluación se les pedirá que respondan una breve encuesta sobre sus actividades. La encuesta dura unos 15 minutos.

A los padres de niños que son contactos cercanos o que son seleccionados para ser parte del programa de pruebas se les pedirá que den su consentimiento para la participación de sus hijos. También se les pedirá que hagan una breve encuesta sobre las actividades de sus hijos. La encuesta dura unos 15 minutos.

¿Cómo funciona la prueba COVID-19?

La prueba que se está utilizando se llama “Tarjeta BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag”. Está fabricado por Abbott Laboratories. La prueba detecta pequeñas partes del coronavirus llamadas proteínas. La prueba se puede realizar rápidamente con resultados en aproximadamente 20 minutos.

La prueba se realiza con un hisopo que se coloca en la nariz. El hisopo parece un hisopo de algodón típico (Q-tip). Se coloca en una fosa nasal de no más de una pulgada, se gira 5 veces y luego se repite en la otra fosa nasal. Luego, se coloca el hisopo en la tarjeta de prueba. La persona que recolecte el hisopo será un profesional de la salud capacitado.

¿Con qué frecuencia se harán las pruebas a los niños?

Si un niño es un contacto cercano, el niño será examinado dos veces por semana (lunes y jueves o martes y viernes) durante dos semanas. Entonces, serán probados cuatro veces. Los niños que son contactos cercanos y que se quedan en casa deberán ser llevados a la escuela brevemente para ser evaluados.

Si se elige a un niño que no es un contacto cercano, se le hará la prueba una vez a la semana en la escuela durante dos semanas. Entonces, se probarán dos veces.

¿Recibiré los resultados de las pruebas realizadas a mi hijo?

Si su hijo se hace la prueba, obtendrá el resultado de la prueba de su hijo si lo hacen. Los resultados de la prueba de su hijo no se compartirán con otros padres o estudiantes.

¿Qué pasará si mi hijo tiene una prueba de coronavirus positiva?

Si su hijo tiene una prueba positiva, deberá quedarse en casa y no ir a la escuela porque es muy probable que tenga COVID-19. Deberá planificar mantener a su hijo aislado y alejado de otros niños y otros miembros de la familia tanto como sea posible y necesitará usar una máscara para protegerse cuando esté cerca de su hijo. Por lo general, un niño tiene que quedarse en casa durante 10 días después de una prueba COVID-19 positiva. El departamento de salud local le dará más información si esto sucede.

¿Cuánto tiempo durará esta evaluación?

Esta evaluación completa durará varias semanas. Si se le pide a su hijo que participe, participará durante dos semanas. Si se le pide que complete una encuesta, la encuesta tomará aproximadamente 15 minutos.

¿Cuáles son los beneficios de esta evaluación?

El mayor beneficio de esta evaluación es que aprenderemos sobre los procedimientos apropiados que deben seguir las escuelas cuando tienen casos de COVID-19 en su escuela. Aprenderemos si los niños que son contactos cercanos necesitan quedarse en casa si ellos y el caso usaron máscaras correctamente en la escuela.

Si su hijo está incluido en la parte de prueba de esta evaluación, el beneficio es saber si su hijo tiene COVID-19. Saber que su hijo tiene COVID-19 puede permitirle proteger a los miembros de su familia y a usted tomando las medidas adecuadas en el hogar.

¿Cuáles son los riesgos de esta evaluación?

Los niños que se someten a una prueba de hisopo pueden sentirse incómodos, pero esto es poco común.

¿Quién patrocina esta evaluación?

Esta evaluación es una colaboración entre la Oficina del Gobernador del Estado de Ohio, el Departamento de Medicaid de Ohio, el Departamento de Salud de Ohio, el Departamento de Seguros de Ohio y los distritos escolares de todo el estado.

¿Quién gestiona esta evaluación?

Esta evaluación está a cargo de la Universidad Estatal de Ohio con la ayuda de la Universidad Estatal de Wright, la Universidad de Ohio y PARTT.

¿Qué se hará con la información de esta evaluación?

Los resultados generales de esta evaluación se compartirán con la Oficina del Gobernador del Estado de Ohio, el Departamento de Medicaid de Ohio, el Departamento de Salud de Ohio, el Departamento de Seguros de Ohio y los distritos escolares participantes.