NPS COVID Testing Update

December 16, 2021

NPS COVID Testing Update

Dear NPS Families,


Just a note that there will be no weekly COVID testing the week of December 20, 2021. This decision is based upon the following guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE.)


DESE recommends that pooled testing programs are only run when the school is able to complete the entire pooled testing process from the initial pooled test through the completion of all needed follow-up tests.


Because we cannot complete the entire process, we will not conduct testing next week. Weekly testing will resume for PreK-6 upon return from winter break - the week of January 3, 2022.


Please note: symptomatic and Test and Stay testing protocols will remain in place during the week of December 20.


You can visit the NPS webpage for up-to-date testing information. Here is the webpage: NPS COVID Testing Webpage (link.)


Thank you for your continued partnership in this testing program.


Sincerely,

NPS COVID Testing Team

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Newton Health and Human Services: Guide to Holiday Testing

Should I get tested?

Anyone who is feeling even mild symptoms should stay home, talk with their healthcare provider, and get tested.


Based on guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, testing is not required for people who are fully vaccinated close contacts who don’t have symptoms. If you choose to get tested following an exposure (day 0), you should get tested no sooner than day 3 and ideally around day 5. People who are close contacts with symptoms should stay home and get tested, regardless of the number of days since exposure.


Which test should I get?

PCR tests are the gold standard for diagnosing a current COVID-19 infection, but home antigen tests can be useful in certain circumstances because they are generally less expensive, available in pharmacy/retail locations, and you can get the results quicker than laboratory-based PCR tests.


Wondering when to use a home test and how to interpret the results? Click here for a guide.


Where can I get tested?

A list of testing sites across the state, including Newton, can be found at mass.gov/gettested. Plug in a zip code and you can filter by distance, cost of the test, type of test, and more under Advanced Filters.


CIC Health continues to run a pcr testing site at Riverside in Newton.


Free home PCR testing is available to all eligible Massachusetts adults. Kits are reserved for adults (18+) who live or work in a congregate setting, are experiencing symptoms, have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or who have otherwise been recommended for testing. Visit the Pixel by LabCorp for Massachusetts webpage for details, and to request a test kit.


What about international travel?

Travel requirements have changed so be sure to check the CDC’s website for requirements for testing.

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District Data for COVID Cases and Vaccination

We have recently relaunched our COVID Testing Data Dashboard. On the dashboard, you can review the percentage of students who have opted into testing, as well as the results of the weekly pooled testing. The data dashboard can be found here: COVID Testing Data Dashboard and on our website here: COVID Testing Webpage.


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.

COVID Testing Information and Resources

Below you will find additional resources to answer your questions and concerns about the NPS COVID testing: