Athletic Surveillance Testing FAQ

In our fall opening plan, we outlined a three-pronged approach to testing. Point of Care (POC) testing is designed to provide a quick result in the case of a student or staff member who began presenting symptoms at school. General surveillance testing is used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 infections in students and staff. Athletic Surveillance testing is based on the CDC-reported level of community transmission as indicated in the chart below. Currently, we are only implementing the testing of athletes

It should be noted that guidance for athletics has yet to be finalized, including eligibility to play, and we are working with the Columbia County DOH and NYSPHSAA Section 2 to determine the best approach to keep our student athletes safe and healthy and provide consistency among competing districts. Additional information regarding athletics will be forthcoming.

Indicator Low Transmission


Moderate Transmission


Substantial Transmission


High Transmission


Table 1. CDC Indicators and Thresholds for Community Transmission of COVID-19
Total new cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days2 0-9 10-49 50-99 ≥100
Percentage of NAATs that are positive during the past 7 days3 <5.0% 5.0%-7.9% 8.0%-9.9% ≥10.0%

1 Levels of community transmission defined as total new cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days (low, 0-9; moderate 10-49; substantial, 50-99, high, ≥100) and percentage of positive tests in the past 7 days (low, <5%; moderate, 5-7.9%; substantial, 8-9.9%; high, ≥10%.)

2 The NCAA has developed a risk stratification for sports. See

3 High-risk extracurricular activities are those in which increased exhalation occurs, such as activities that involve singing, shouting, band, or exercise, especially when conducted indoors.

What test will be used in schools for weekly surveillance testing of athletes and who would administer the tests? 

Ichabod Crane will use the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test. Find out more about Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 Test on the fact sheet below:

New York State is providing school districts with these COVID-19 rapid tests which will be administered by school nurses to students for whom we have received prior parent/guardian consent. The test involves inserting a small swab, like a Q-Tip, into the lowermost portion of the nostril. This is a quick nasal swab test of both nostrils and is NOT the deep swab nostril test that is performed at medical facilities.

How do I consent to have my student athlete tested at school? 

There is an online parent/guardian consent form for you to fill out for your student(s). Students will not be tested without parent/guardian consent. 

Why is the rapid antigen test being used?

The rationale for using the rapid test instead of the PCR test is that testing will be done on students and staff who are asymptomatic. Rapid tests detect protein fragments specific to the Novel Coronavirus and are non-invasive for students & staff (ie: not deep sinus tests). PCR tests detect RNA (genetic material) that is specific to the virus and are the “deep sinus” variety, plus they have a longer turnaround time than the rapid test. The rapid test results are available within minutes.

What happens if a student tests positive? 

If your student tests positive while at school, you will be notified immediately, asked to quarantine and follow up with your health care provider for PCR testing. In addition, we will share information with the Columbia County Department of Health.