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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


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.
Repeat viral testing prior to return is not required.

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. 

New At Home Testing Program 2/3/2022

In a follow up to the announcement on 1/21/22 that we are opting into the at-home testing program for both vaccinated students, unvaccinated students and staff through the Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, we wanted to let families know that all orders placed 2 weeks ago for at-home tests will be going home with your students today.  The following information outlines the changes to our testing procedures.  This information can also be found on our website under the COVID-19 tab at   For more information on this new program from the state, please click here.

In addition to this new at-home antigen test option, we will continue routine pooled testing on Tuesdays and symptomatic testing during the week. As part of this shift in the program, we have discontinued Test and Stay and contact tracing for in-school close contacts. This means that if your child is a potential contact in school, they may continue to come to school and do not have to quarantine. This new at-home testing opportunity is voluntary and only those who opt-in will receive at-home tests. If you are interested in signing up for the at-home test to be sent home with your student and did not sign up on 1/21/22, please fill out this short survey HERE to be put on the list.   You may sign up your student at any time; however, state distribution of tests will be on a bi-weekly basis.

COVID-19 Testing Programs in our Schools:

At-Home Rapid AntigenTesting for Students (to be administered one time/week)
Weekly Pool Testing every week (Complete both the consent form HERE and the short form HERE)
To unenroll from weekly pool testing, please email Ashley Wheeler at
Symptomatic Testing (If you have not yet signed up click here)

Overview: At-Home Rapid Testing Program

About the Test: iHealth is a 15-minute at-home FDA-approved rapid antigen test
By opting in, you will agree to use the tests according to AWRSD’s guidelines, including the following:
Training: To review the training materials for administration.
  • Click here for a full “how to” written guide in various languages
  • Click here for a video of an individual self-testing
Testing Schedule:
  • The testing kits will arrive every two weeks with 2 individual tests per box. You will administer one test each week to your student.
  • Tests will be sent home with your child on Thursdays beginning February 3, 2022.
Reporting Positive Test Results:
  • If your child(ren) test(s) positive on an at-home antigen test, please contact your child’s school nurse to notify them of the positive result.
  • People who test positive for COVID-19 should follow the AWRSD Protocols located HERE.
  • It is strongly recommended you notify your child’s PCP of a positive result.
If you have questions, please contact your school nurse.

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).


Please note:  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.


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.


Additional References/Links

School Nurse:

Cassandra Benes
978-827-5907 /
Nancy Taylor
978-827-1425 /
Abby Shea
978-827-5750 /
Jessica Heffernan
978-874-2043 /
Bridget Hurley
978-874-0163 /
List of Test Sites in Massachusetts

** For exposures outside of school, please contact your local BOH.