News

Statement Regarding D181's Saliva Surveillance Program and the Use of Safeguard Surveillance
jlavigueur@d181.org

District 181's voluntary COVID-19 weekly saliva surveillance program is another layer of protection for our students and staff as we aim to keep our schools open and our school community safe. The program uses an internationally recognized RT-Lamp process adapted by SafeGuard Surveillance which has correctly identified hundreds of COVID-19 cases that were later confirmed by lab testing. Numerous schools use this particular low-cost and highly accurate screening method.

You may have read a recent New York Times article about SafeGuard's implementation at New Trier High School. New Trier and SafeGuard shared that the article contains numerous inaccurate statements and fails to acknowledge that SafeGuard is operating under clear guidance from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Our legal counsel has also reviewed this guidance and shares a similar perspective. You can read New Trier's statement regarding the article here. You can also review an FAQ prepared by SafeGuard based on the New York Times article.

With weekly testing, we have a more accurate assessment of overall COVID-19 rates and risks at D181 schools, providing an extra layer of reassurance for providing in-person instruction in addition to the many safety measures the school already has in place. Additional safety protocols and more information on our Surveillance Testing program can be found on our website at d181.org/reopening. Thank you to our families and staff members for their participation in the program and our school community's collective efforts to keeping our schools safe and healthy.