NPS COVID Weekly Testing Update
October 8, 2021
NPS Weekly COVID Testing Update
Dear NPS Families,
As we continue to solidify our COVID weekly testing schedule, we will share these testing email updates with you so that you and your student know what to expect the following week. Below is an updated testing schedule, as well as information on data, staffing and communication protocols.
We are pleased that the testing experience continues to improve and is being done more quickly and efficiently in our buildings. Thank you to all of our NPS families for their patience and partnership.
NPS COVID Testing Team
Testing Schedule - Week of October 11th and 18th
Here is the link to the COVID testing schedule for the weeks of October 11th and October 18th: COVID Testing Week of 10/11 and 10/18. You will also see a graphic of the schedule below.
Our goal remains to conduct weekly testing for all PreK-6 grade students. CIC Health and their designated contractors continue to experience staffing shortages, which at this time prevents us from expanding to this weekly testing schedule. In addition, we are prioritizing the implementation of the Test and Stay program to ensure that students are able to stay in school when they experience a possible COVID exposure while at school.
We anticipate that as both staffing and testing efficiencies increase, we will be able to transition to weekly testing for all consented students in grades PreK - 6.
This week, CIC Health added an additional medical/health contractor to our district. This contractor has focused on testing for grade 6 in our middle schools. This addition has improved our testing program and we have shared with CIC Health that we need to continue to scale up staffing in our district.
Updated Communication Protocol
As was the case last year, it is our commitment to be consistent and transparent with notifications of COVID cases in our school buildings. As we continue to respond to COVID scenarios, we have adjusted our communication protocols to be meaningful and informative. Moving forward, please note the changes outlined below:
Close contacts will continue to be notified by the school nurse and provided appropriate instructions.
Students in a class with a positive case will be notified following the identification of close contacts.
Principals will inform families of the number of cases in the school per week through either the weekly eblast/newsletter or a weekly email. This notification will take the place of the “all school” notification that was previously sent on the same day as the class notification.
To view all communication protocols, please see this document: NPS COVID Communication Protocol.
District Data for COVID Cases and Vaccination
Information on districtwide COVID cases and vaccination rates can be found on the Newton Health and Human Services website here: NPS COVID Case Count and Vaccination Rates. The data dashboard for testing in the Newton Public Schools, similar to the dashboard last year, will be re-launched next week.
How to Participate in Testing Program
What is the process if a “pool” is positive?
NPS has transitioned to a single swab testing protocol to improve testing efficiency. If a pool is positive, a follow up BinaxNOW rapid antigen test is done for all of the individuals in the pool. The rapid test serves to identify the positive individual. The follow up test is done either on the same day or the next day, depending upon when the result of the pool test is known.