NPS COVID Weekly Testing Update
October 1, 2021
NPS Weekly COVID Testing Update
Dear NPS Families,
We continued implementation of the weekly COVID testing program this week, prioritizing those schools that were missed last week. Testing went more smoothly, with increased staffing and adjustments to our testing protocols.
As CIC Health continues to recruit and train the staff necessary to conduct weekly testing in all of our schools, we will continue with our phased-in approach to weekly testing. We believe this is the best approach so as not to compromise our ability to effectively implement our Test and Stay testing program, which is vital to minimizing interruptions to student learning.
Therefore, for the week of October 4th, we will test students and staff in 13 buildings (9 elementary schools, 4 middle schools - only 6th grade) to ensure available staffing resources match the needs of each building. The schedule for the week of October 4th is linked here: CIC Public Testing Schedule and is also shown below. We anticipate the schedule will shift from week to week until the staffing challenges are resolved.
Until we feel confident in CIC Health’s ability to scale the weekly testing operation with adequate staffing, the weekly testing program for grades 7-12+ will remain on hold. However, the symptomatic and Test and Stay testing continues to be available as appropriate.
As communicated in the district newsletter on Wednesday, we did make some changes to the testing procedures. For reference, those changes are listed below.
Testing Procedure Changes:
Aligned the CIC Health staff training process with Newton health and safety practices.
Standardized the testing process across schools.
Consulted with CIC Health and the Broad Institute to modify the testing protocol to utilize a nose wipe instead of a nose blow.
Switched to a single nasal swab collection to improve efficiency on testing day. Positive pool results will be followed up with a rapid antigen test at school.
Conferred with our Medical Advisory Group to obtain approval of our testing procedures in school buildings.
Adjusted and refined clerical procedures to ensure accuracy in student testing rosters.
Testing Schedule - Week of October 4, 2021
COVID Testing Information and Resources
Should my student participate in the testing program if they have recently had COVID?
If your student was diagnosed with COVID in the past 90 days, they should NOT PARTICIPATE in the weekly testing program. A recent COVID infection could trigger an inconclusive test result. We do encourage you to opt into the testing program so that the student can be tested following the 90 day period. Our nursing team will be sure to note on the testing days which students should not be tested because of a recent COVID diagnosis. Privacy and the reason for not testing will be strictly maintained.