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COVID Testing and Back to School Information

Resuming In-Person Learning

Pediatricians of MHA recognize and support every effort to resume in person learning!

To help keep students and school staff healthy here are some important safety recommendations:

1. Get Vaccinated

Eligible children over 12 and adults can get the COVID -19 vaccine. It is safe. It works.

2. Mask Up

Everyone ages 2yrs and up should wear a face mask on the school bus and in school. The vast majority of kids do not mind wearing a mask The are safe to wear for a full school day. Masks maximize protection from the Delta variant and can help stop the spread of the virus. Be a positive role model.

3. Physical Distancing

The Erie County Department of Health recommends schools maintain a distance of 3 feet between students to reduce transmission of the virus.

4. Limit Non-Essential Indoor Activities

Consider limiting indoor activities for your child, especially if local COVID infection rates increase. Our focus is school attendance and limiting any source of exposure can help.

School is more than academics; it is essential to children’s physical and social and emotional health.

COVID-19 Testing

KSL Diagnostics offers comprehensive COVID-19 testing. Their laboratory is partnering with area pediatricians and the Erie County Department of Health to test symptomatic students and help them return to school quickly. Standard, accurate RT-PCR lab testing from KSL offers turnaround time of 8 hours or less. KSL staffs drive through collection sites, with results emailed to parents and physicians. These sites and a complete list of their affiliate collection sites can be found here. Sites and hours of operation are being expanded.

Diagnostic testing is covered for insured and uninsured clients per the CARES Act. Insurance information will be collected at the test site if the child is covered. A physician’s prescription is recommended to minimize issues with insurance reimbursement, but is not required. No appointment is necessary for testing.

Step-by-step instructions:

 Step 1:  Register your child here for a COVID PCR test.

Step 2:  Call your pediatrician and ask them to fax a script to your desired collection location.

Step 3:  No appointment is necessary.  Choose the following locations for fastest results:

1000 Youngs Road, Williamsville, NY, 14221

Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-1pm

Fax: 716-559-1582

28 Best Street, Buffalo, NY, 14209

Mon-Fri 8am-8pm

Fax: 716-800-6057

Step 4: Parents will receive an email of the report. Reports are generally issued the same day if collected before 1pm.

Illnesses and Exposures

If your child is ill; keep them home. This includes fevers (temperature greater than 100), respiratory symptoms, runny nose, sore throat, cough, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms such as loss of taste or sense of smell are suggestive of COVID.

To return to school after a COVID-LIKE ILLNESS:

  1. A negative COVID test result (PCR) provided to the school and fever-free for 24 hours. (You do not need a doctor’s note). Home COVID tests are not acceptable.
  2. There have been 10 days since the onset of the illness and the child is better.
  3. Your child has been seen by a health care provider and signs a note that the illness is not COVID but a known chronic condition, or another illness (like strep throat). Treat any seasonal or environmental allergies as you have been instructed, this well help control runny noses and sneezing.

Our offices are prepared to schedule your child for a sick visit exam and test for COVID -19 if indicated.  Scheduling depends on availability and we are doing our best to accommodate our families. We will partner with the Pediatric and Adolescent Urgent Care for overflow appointments.

Exposures and Close Contacts

Close contact defined as students who are within 3 feet in the classroom setting for greater than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.

Close contacts may occur from a household member as well.

1. Fully Vaccinated Close Contacts

Following CDC guidelines fully vaccinated students identified as close contacts are NOT subject to quarantine. They should be monitored for symptoms.  If a vaccinated student has close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID -19 it is recommended they be tested 3-5 days after exposure. If they develop symptoms they need to follow “illness guidelines”.

2. Unvaccinated Close Contacts

We will follow the school districts and Erie County Department of Health for identification of close contacts.

If the student is a close contact, they must quarantine for 10 days from date of last exposure to the positive case. It is recommended to be tested on day of exposure and again 3-5 days later, note the student needs to quarantine for 10 days even with a negative test.

 If symptoms develop the student should have a COVID test and quarantine for 10 days from onset of symptoms.

Screening COVID Testing for Travel or Events

If your child needs proof of a negative COVID test check with your practice location for options.

Have Any Additional COVID-19 Questions?