School Covid Numbers Continue to Decline: At-Home Testing To Start

Numbers published Thursday, January 27 by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) show Weston public schools with 45 students and 7 staff testing positive in the last 7 days (1/20-1/26). The week before (1/13-19), there were 56 students and 7 staff positives, and the week prior to that (1/6-1/12) there were 67 students and 20 staff positives. The downward curve continues, at least for students.

Note that DESE numbers are reported by the district. Weston Public School’s own Covid dashboard is updated on a weekly basis, with the next update likely to be posted tomorrow.

Earlier this week, a District communication sent to all parents outlined that in accordance with a DESE testing initiative, Weston Public Schools will be adopting the State’s new COVID-19 testing program for K-12 schools which involves the scheduled distribution of at-home antigen tests to students and staff.

The letter went on to specify that “we are opting into this at-home testing program as a means of increasing testing opportunities for students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. This new at-home testing opportunity is voluntary and only those who sign up will receive tests.”

At-home testing kits will be distributed starting next week for those who have registered themselves (staff) or students for the program. As part of this shift in the statewide program, both the Test and Stay program, which included only unvaccinated students and staff, and contact tracing for in-school contacts, will be discontinued. Data have shown that in-school transmission of COVID-19 occurs very rarely. Therefore, beginning February 1st if a child is an asymptomatic close contact in school, they may continue to come to school and do not have to quarantine. Pooled testing, reflex testing for positive pools and testing of symptomatic individuals will all continue.

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