Dear RSU 1 Staff and Families,

We have received many questions about the types of COVID-19 testing being offered when staff and students are following the RSU 1 Guidelines for Illness. Please see the below clarification from our school nurses and Dr. Hanna around what testing is acceptable.  

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In consultation with our school physician, Dr. Amina Hanna, RSU 1 would like to clarify the following regarding COVID-19 testing and returning to school/work. 

There are three types of tests available for COVID-19: polymerase chain reaction (PCR), antigen (rapid results), and antibody (serology) testing. PCR and antigen (rapid results) detect whether a person is currently infected, and serology detects whether a person had an infection in the past. 

RSU 1 is requiring PCR testing results and will not be accepting antigen (rapid results) for return to school/work due to the lack of reliability and sensitivity of rapid tests. According to the Maine CDC and Maine American Academy of Pediatrics, PCR testing is the gold standard to rule out a COVID-19 infection.  When you are getting your test done, make sure you say "My employer/school requires a negative PCR test for return to work/school" to ensure you are getting the proper test completed. 

Our community has ample availability of PCR testing and these tests for COVID-19 are free of charge if families do not have insurance to cover the costs. If you feel you or a family member are in need of a COVID-19 test or if your school is requiring one for your child to return to class, please call your primary care physician to set up an appointment or call your School Nurse to discuss if you have additional questions.  

Thank you,
The School Nurses and Dr. Hanna