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Testing for COVID-19 in the Medfield Public Schools
Kathleen Thompson
Monday, January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021 --  

The school nurses will be offering COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for (MPS) students who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been identified as a close contact, following the criteria and procedures outlined below.

COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are performed by gently rotating a cotton swab approximately 1” into both nostrils with test results available in 15 minutes. The school nurses have been trained in the procedure and reporting requirements. Parental consent is required for all students under age 18.  COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are not PCR tests.  Please click here for more information regarding antigen versus PCR tests.

Testing Criteria

1.  Parents/guardians please continue to check your child(ren) daily for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 (refer to COVID-19 Daily Home Screening Information).  If your child(ren) exhibits any symptoms of COVID-19, please keep them home from school and contact the school to report their absence.

Please do NOT send children who are symptomatic into school. Please call your child’s school nurse for further guidance on testing and whether rapid antigen or PCR testing would be most appropriate for your child.  If rapid antigen testing is deemed appropriate, the school nurse will offer you a date, time and location to drive by for the test.  

2.  If a student develops new symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during the school day, they should see the school nurse for evaluation. The school nurse will determine if rapid antigen or PCR testing would be most appropriate prior to the student being sent home. 

3.  MPS Nurses will also be offering rapid antigen testing for students who are close contacts and asymptomatic at Day 5 or later after exposure to a person testing positive for COVID-19.  A negative test will allow the student to leave quarantine and return to school on day 8 if they remain asymptomatic. They are required to continue to monitor for symptoms for the full 14 day quarantine and remain out of high risk activities such as team sports.  If they become symptomatic at any time during the 14 day quarantine period, a PCR test should be obtained. Even if the PCR test is negative, individuals with symptoms will need to be quarantined for the full 14 days as they could become positive at any point during the 14 day period.

Testing Procedures and Follow Up

In order for students to have rapid antigen testing, we must have signed consent.  For students under the age of 18, parental consent is required.  Our antigen testing program is being coordinated through the Beacon Testing Project, which allows for consent to be obtained online and results sent via email to the parent or staff member and the MA Department of Public Health.  Please sign up for an account (may be done at any time) in your child’s name at their school link below.  

Medfield High School:  https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=SCPSLQ   

Blake Middle School: https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=IPYFFJ

Dale Street School:  https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=RITCJO

Wheelock School: https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=MJCSPI 

Memorial School:  https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=IXQWTD       

Once consent is obtained, the school nurse conducts the rapid antigen test while wearing full personal protective equipment.

  • Those who test positive will be treated as a positive COVID-19 case and sent home with DPH guidelines for quarantining for 10 days from onset of symptoms. This will enable the nurses to swiftly isolate that individual and commence with immediate contact tracing. 

  • Those with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 who test negative will also be sent home.  As the negative test is presumptive, individuals who are symptomatic should follow up with their healthcare provider and get a PCR test for COVID-19 if recommended. As the PCR is the more accurate test, a PCR test taken within two days of an antigen test, is presumed accurate and would supersede the antigen results.

  • Those with symptoms that do not meet the guidelines for school exclusion (i.e. simple nasal congestion, a headache without any other symptoms or general fatigue) who test negative could return to class and monitor for any further symptoms.

If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 rapid antigen testing criteria or procedures, please contact your school nurse.  For information on alternative testing sites, click on these links:  COVID-19 Test Site Locator or Local Testing Sites

Sincerely,

Medfield Public School Nurses

Memorial, Kim Maguire, RN, BSN: (508) 242-8576 Fax:(508) 359-1419

Wheelock, Aimie Keigan, RN, BSN: (508) 242-8577 Fax:(508) 359-6174

Dale, Kathy Thompson, RN, MSN: (508) 242-8573, Fax: (508) 359-1415

Blake, Tricia Williams, RN, BSN & Arlene O’Donovan-Driscoll RN, MSN

(508) 242-8554  Fax: (508) 359-0134

MHS, Liz Bennett, RN, BSN & Brittany Hardiman, RN, BSN: (508) 242-8568

          Fax: (508) 242-8516