DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — U.S. health officials are showing support for “test-to-stay” policies to help keep students in school during the pandemic. The CDC said it’s another valuable tool in a layered prevention strategy that includes vaccinating eligible students and staff.

“97% of students who were quarantined never produced any symptoms for COVID-19,” said Scott Marshall, district communications coordinator for Springboro Schools.

Prior to test-to-stay, the CDC’s guidance for schools had been that when someone in a school tests positive for COVID-19, those in close contact should stay out of school in quarantine for 10 days. Now they consider test-to-stay and quarantining approaches as equally good options.

“A lot of kids were having to remain at home when they never showed symptoms and missed that class time. That class time is very crucial in regards to academic success, socio-emotional needs and mental health,” Marshall said.

At Centerville Schools, staff and students are required to wear masks through the first of the year.

“Even if somebody does test positive for COVID and other students are in close contact because they have on a mask, they won’t have to quarantine. Prior to implementing masking, there were quite a few students being sent home or quarantines for 10-14 days and they didn’t get sick,” said Tom Henderson, superintendent of Centerville City Schools.