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COVID-19 Health Services Page

 
Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District COVID-19 Safety Protocols
 

COVID-19 Symptoms List

The following is a list of symptoms that we ask caregivers to monitor with their students and staff to self-monitor before attending school:


  • Unvaccinated individuals should monitor all symptoms
  • Vaccinated individuals should monitor symptoms in bold.
 
  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills 
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Muscle aches or body aches 
  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough) 
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms 
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms 
  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms 
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms 
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms

AWRSD will follow the DPH Mandated Protocols for masking in schools.  Please see information here


Testing and Quarantine Protocols per DPH:


Per the latest Department of Public Health regulations, quarantine is required for any individuals less than 3 feet for more than 15 minutes of a known positive case.  The following students are EXEMPT from quarantine or isolation:

 

  1. Vaccinated students
  2. Students masked on buses with the windows open.
  3. Students who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days.


Positive COVID-19 Student/Staff Options:


  1. Isolation x 5 days from onset of symptoms or test date if asymptomatic.
  2. May return if fever-free without fever-reducing medication for 24 hours and symptoms improve (complete resolution of symptoms not required).
  3. May return after 5 days without symptom improvement with a note from our local BOH (see references below) or a healthcare professional.
  4. Contacts that occur outside of school are not eligible for Test & Stay per the Department of Public Health.
 
Repeat viral testing prior to return is not required.

Unvaccinated In-School Close Contact with No Symptoms - Test & Stay


  1. Test & Stay: Nursing will test through day 5 from the last exposure and students/staff may remain in school with a daily negative Binax test. If day 5 occurs on a weekend, then student/staff will be tested when they return to school.
  2. Students in extracurricular activities on non-school days during Test & Stay will be required to provide a negative rapid COVID test to the school athletic department to participate.
  3. Vaccinated students are exempt from test & stay per DPH guidelines.
 

Unvaccinated Close Contact with No Symptoms - No Test & Stay


  1. Quarantine for 5 days if asymptomatic.
  2. Repeat viral testing prior to return is not required.
  3. If symptoms occur, please see protocol for symptomatic individuals.  

Symptomatic Staff/Students


  1. May return to school with a negative PCR test or antigen test that may be self administered and has remained fever-free for 24 hours without medication.
  2. If PCR or antigen test is positive, individual must isolate for 5 days.  The Local Board of Health will call with instructions. 
  3. If an unvaccinated close contact tests negative they should continue test & stay for 5 days from exposure date to remain in school.

Routine COVID-19 Testing - Start Date 9/14/21

 

  1. Offered by the Department of Public Health through the company CIC and facilitated by state nurses overseen by AWRSD nursing staff. 
  2. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are eligible for routine COVID testing.
  3. Nasal swab kits are sent home with students Mondays.
  4. Tests are collected at home before school on Tuesdays.  
  5. Students will bring tests to their school for processing.
  6. A state nurse will pick up the samples in their classroom or lobby, register them and they will be picked up by courier(s) and sent to the lab the same day. 
  7. Student’s tests are separated and tested in a pool (batch) with a portion of your student’s sample separated if retesting is required. 
  8. No notification will occur with negative pools.  Positive pools will be retested individually to determine the positive case and the school will be notified by CIC.  
  9. The school nurse will consult with the Local Board of Health, notify the student’s legal guardian, and any other necessary notifications per the BOH (see Contact Tracing Protocols below).

FOR ALL COVID-19 GUARDIAN CONSENT TESTING THROUGH THE DISTRICT, PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK:


Please note:  CIC only provides one consent for all three modes of testing offered at AWRSD (Symptomatic, Test & Stay, Routine).  If you would like your student to participate in weekly pool testing in addition to the CIC consent, please fill out this google form.

 


Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing


  1. Vaccinated and unvaccinated staff/student(s) who develop symptoms during the school day on the COVID-19 Symptom List may be tested using the rapid Binax test by your school nurse during the day. 
  2. If staff/students remain in school with a negative Binax test without symptom resolution, they may be asked to seek medical advice after retesting 72 hours after the onset of symptoms.  
  3. See protocols above for further action regarding testing result outcomes.

Test & Stay

 

  1. The following staff/student(s) qualify for Test & Stay:
    1. Unvaccinated asymptomatic staff/student in close contact with a COVID-19 individual in school.
    2. Unvaccinated symptomatic individual after a negative PCR test until the 5th day after symptom onset. 

Absences


To assist the health department during COVID-19, please report all absences to your student(s) school absence line and notify your school nurse of any illness.

 

School Contact Tracing (update 12/6/21)

 

LOCAL BOARD OF HEALTH CONTACT TRACING PROCEDURES:

All positive COVID-19 cases will receive an initial call or text from a Local Board of Health public nurse for assessment and detailed instruction; the call will be followed by a detailed email including DPH quarantine/isolation guidance, testing recommendations, and online resources (www.mass.gov/isol8) as well as specific information about the expected isolation/quarantine timelines for the case/household.  A phone number will also be given for follow up questions if needed.   Individuals are now asked by their local boards of health to notify their close contacts.   The board of health will no longer be following up with all close contacts, and this includes contacts from in school exposures.  

AWRSD CONTACT TRACING PROCEDURES:

  1. Any student who was less than 3 feet for more than 15 minutes from a COVID positive district member and is unvaccinated will receive a text message to the guardian asking to check email for detailed instructions on how to proceed.  The following options are available per DPH/DESE guidelines.  
    1. 5 day quarantine without testing as long as student is asymptomatic.
    2. 5 day Test & Stay (daily testing at school) while continuing to attend school as long as each test is negative
    3. If your student will be tested, please do not send them to school without signing consent. The state nurses cannot test and stay your student without prior approval through written consent.
  2. Any student who is less than 3 feet from a COVID positive individual and is fully vaccinated will receive a text message to check email for instructions on how to proceed.
  3. Any student on an extra-curricular team or group activity will receive a notification letter sent to the guardian.

 

Additional References/Links


School Nurse:

OAKMONT:
Susan Lofquist
978-827-5907 / slofquist@awrsd.org
OVERLOOK MIDDLE:
Nancy Taylor
978-827-1425 / ntaylor@awrsd.org
JOHN R. BRIGGS:
Abby Shea
978-827-5750 / ashea@awrsd.org
WESTMINSTER:
Jessica Heffernan
978-874-2043 / jheffernan@awrsd.org
MEETINGHOUSE:
Bridget Hurley
978-874-0163 / bhurley@awrsd.org
   
BOARD OF HEALTH -
ASHBURNHAM
978-772-3335
BOARD OF HEALTH -
WESTMINSTER
978-874-7409
TRAVEL https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-advisory 
DPH https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information
CDC
List of Test Sites in Massachusetts