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MPS Testing Information and Consent Process
Kathy Thompson
Thursday, September 09, 2021

September 3, 2021 --  

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your continued support as we begin the 2021-2022 school year. Keeping our students safe and in school is our top priority. We have learned a great deal over this past year and our current guidance and procedures reflect the most updated recommendations from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

 For the 2021-22 school year, we are once again offering in-school COVID-19 testing programs as an extra layer of protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  We are partnering with a new provider this year, CIC Health. This program has three components: symptomatic testing for students who show symptoms of COVID-19 at school, routine COVID safety checks (formerly called Pooled Testing) to prevent the spread of the virus among students who are not showing symptoms, and test and stay for students who may have been exposed while in school but are not showing symptoms (close contacts). Each of these is a quick, non-invasive front of the nose swab that is collected under the supervision of a school nurse or trained health provider. Unlike COVID-19 tests of the past, these are not uncomfortable and easy for students to do themselves.

 Students can only participate with permission from a parent or guardian.  There is one  consent form for all three components of the program. Below we describe each of the three parts of our testing program, how they are conducted and what they are used for.

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Symptomatic testing is used when a student is showing symptoms of COVID-19 during school; students should not come to school if they are feeling sick while at home. Some symptoms of the virus look identical to other illnesses like the cold or flu, and this test helps determine whether a symptomatic student has COVID-19 or not. This is a rapid test with results available in 15 minutes. If a student has minimal symptoms and tests negative, they can remain in school.

 Routine COVID safety checks (previously called Pooled Testing) minimize disruption to learning by helping us catch potential spread of the virus before it starts. Each student administers the safety check on a weekly basis. Samples are collected at school in groups of 5-10 individuals. Once the samples are at the lab, the samples in the group are PCR molecular tested together for COVID-19. In most cases, it will take less than 24 hours to receive results. Students can continue to come to school while awaiting safety check results and do not need to quarantine while awaiting results. If a ‘safety check’ test is positive, a follow up test will be conducted at school to determine the positive individual. This form of testing will begin the week of  September 13th in grades K-12.  In order for this program to be an effective mitigation strategy. We will need 75-80% participation in each school.

The Test and Stay Program allows unvaccinated students who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 while at school to stay in school if the student is not showing symptoms. Instead of needing to quarantine and miss school, these students will take a daily rapid test while they remain in school as long as they are not symptomatic. Students participate in ‘test and stay’ for at least seven days after they may have been exposed. Please note the importance of unvaccinated students participating in the Test and Stay Program.  If your child  is unvaccinated and becomes a close contact of a COVID-19 individual, and your child is not signed up for the Test and Stay Program, your child will need to quarantine at home for 7 to 10 days based on these state  COVID Protocols.

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If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine at home for the CDC-recommended ten days since symptoms appeared or ten days after the positive test if asymptomatic before returning to school. The student must also be without a fever for 24 hours.

To have your child participate in the program, you must sign this consent form. There is no charge for participating. To learn more about our COVID-19 testing program, please view this video.

There are also additional resources shared by the Department of Education regarding all testing options.

 If you have additional questions regarding the program, please contact Kathy Thompson by email at kthompson@email.medfield.net or by phone at 508-242-8573.

 It is our hope that these measures will add an additional layer of protection to keep our schools safe and  students in school.  Thanks again for your support during this challenging time. 

 

Sincerely,

 Kathleen Thompson, MS, RN

Nurse Leader, Medfield Public Schools

Dale Street School

45 Adams Street

Medfield, MA 02052

kthompson@email.medfield.net

Office: 508-242-8573

Fax: 508-359-1415