HPS offers free COVID-19 testing at schools
Families: Be sure to complete this Student Form for each student in your household so they can participate in our free COVID-19 Safety Check testing program!
Staff: complete this Staff Form to register for the free COVID-19 Safety Check testing program today!
By opting into these programs, you are giving consent to participate in all models of COVID-19 Safety Checks in the Holyoke Public Schools.
The intent of the program is to identify infected individuals before they develop symptoms or to identify infected individuals who may not develop symptoms as well as symptomatic testing so that measures can be taken to prevent further spread. COVID-19 Testing Protocols for SY 2021-2022 include three testing approaches:
- Pooled Testing
- COVID-19 surveillance testing will be offered in schools through routine COVID safety checks, formerly referred to as pooled testing.
- When tested, 2 samples will be collected. Students who are Pre-K -1 will be tested by a trained test administrator. Individuals who are in grades 2 and above can self swab and support will be given to those who require it. After the student collects the sample from their nose, one swab will be inserted into the Pooled vial. The student will collect a second sample and the second swab will be inserted into the Individual vial. The samples will be sent to the laboratory for testing. If the pool is positive, the laboratory will test the individual samples to isolate the positive individual. This streamlined process allows a more rapid response time to ensure that the positive individual is notified. If the Pooled vial is negative the individual test will NOT be tested by the lab.
- In certain situations reflex testing may be necessary.
- Test and Stay
- Under test and stay, asymptomatic individuals who were identified as close contacts at school will have the option to remain in school and be COVID rapid tested daily by the nurse for at least 7 days from the date of exposure. The staff member or student can remain in school as long as they remain asymptomatic, wear masks at all times other than eating or drinking, and monitor their symptoms through day 14, and self-isolate at home if symptoms develop. By opting into “Test and Stay” your child or the staff member may be able to remain in school.
- Symptomatic Testing
- Rapid testing for symptomatic students and staff will be available through the schools’ nurses.
Working together to test every student and staff member who opt into the program each week helps to keep our entire school community safe. Positive cases will be identified more quickly, which will reduce any potential spread of COVID-19 in our schools. We collaborate with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to offer this free testing program.
Working Together to Contain the Spread
We are grateful to our committed families and staff that continue to show resilience and flexibility as we navigate through this pandemic together. As a team, we can work together to keep our schools open and safer by participating in this free initiative.
Check out the FAQS:
If you have questions regarding the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test or COVID-19 Testing Program please reach out to your school nurse.
Contact Toni Ann Ford, Program Coordinator, at Toniannford20@gmail.com.