Following a competitive procurement process, EOHHS and DESE are making diagnostic and routine (weekly) COVID pooled testing services available at no cost to participating districts and schools through the end of the 2021-22 school year, under a single contract with the testing provider CIC Health.
Districts and schools may choose between the below options when completing the Authorized School Application. Participating districts and schools are welcome to change or add testing options throughout the school year; however, to minimize the impact of quarantining due to exposure to COVID-19, it is strongly recommended districts participate in both the diagnostic and Routine COVID Pooled Testing components of the COVID-19 testing program.
Symptomatic Testing: (for when individuals present symptoms while at school; individuals should not go to school if experiencing symptoms while at home): Shallow nasal swab samples are collected at school using the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test or another approved diagnostic test.
"Test and Stay" (close contact testing): Shallow nasal swab samples are collected at school using the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test or another approved diagnostic test. Tests are administered daily from the first day of exposure for at least five (5) days. (Please note, the duration of Test and Stay is seven (7) days with testing occurring on school days. Districts should consult the Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios for the implementation protocols for this program.)
Routine COVID Pooled Testing:
Please note, following feedback from families and caregivers, districts are encouraged to use the phrase "routine COVID safety checks" to describe what we previously called "pooled tests" when communicating with families/caregivers.
Routine COVID Pooled Testing and School-Based Follow-Up Testing: Shallow nasal swab samples are collected at school and put into a single tube (maximum of 10 samples per tube). If a group tests positive, individual Follow-Up testing with a second sample collection occurs at the school with BinaxNOW and/or individual PCR testing, as necessary.
Routine COVID Pooled Testing and Lab-Based Follow-Up Testing: Shallow nasal or saliva samples are collected and kept separate before being grouped at the lab. If a group tests positive, individual Follow-Up testing occurs at the lab, without a second sample collection. Individual test results are reported to the school.
Any K-12 district or school, including private and parochial schools, are invited to participate in this initiative.
Questions can be directed to email@example.com.
All districts and schools that are interested in joining the state-funded SY22 COVID-19 testing program must complete an Authorized School application and upload other required documents. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. We encourage districts and schools to apply as soon as possible to take full advantage of the state-funded program.
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Memo, August 11, 2021
SY22 Authorized School Application
Statement of Assurances
Student Consent Form for COVID-19 Testing
Staff/Adult Consent Form for COVID-19 Testing — English
Staff/Adult Consent Form for COVID-19 Testing — Spanish
COVID-19 Testing Letter to Parents
Positive Case Letter — All Families
Positive Case Letter — Close Contacts
Rapid Test Result Letter to Parents
Safety Checks Graphics for District Websites
COVID-19 Protocols Flowcharts, August 30, 2021
Contact Tracing — District Data Template
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Slides, October 7, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Recording, October 1, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Slides, October 1, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Recording, September 23, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Slides, September 23, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program and Positive Case Reporting Webinar Recording, September 9, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Slides, September 9, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Recording, September 1, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Slides, September 1, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Protocols Webinar Recording, August 17, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Slides, August 11, 2021
SY22 COVID-19 Testing Program Webinar Recording, August 11, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions for the COVID-19 Testing Program & Reporting Positive Results to DESE, August 24, 2021, updated September 22, October 7, and October 22, 2021
DPH's School Health Unit is hosting train-the-trainer sessions for school nurses and other school health professionals that will be administering the BinaxNOW diagnostic test. The training consists of an approximately 30-minute presentation by Abbott staff, followed by an anterior nasal swabbing demonstration by the MDPH Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences Sr. Public Health Nursing Advisor, and concludes with school nurses performing an anterior nasal swab return demonstration and performing the point of care test with the BinaxNOW card. Additional trainings have been scheduled. To sign up for one of the future trainings, please go to the BU Shield website. (Please note: You may participate only if you have your BinaxNOW kits shipped and on-hand. You will be unregistered if our records show you have not yet been shipped test kits.)
Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card and Training
Abbott BinaxNOW Testing Competency — Training Checklist
Abbott BinaxNOW QC Kit Log
Abbott BinaxNOW Product Information (including package inserts)
Abbott BinaxNOW Product Expiration Extension — May 2021
BinaxNOW Kits' Expiration Dates
Last Updated: October 22, 2021
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH): Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for schools
Parents and guardians questions can be directed to COVID19K12ParentInfo@mass.gov
District and school staff's questions can be directed to: Reopeningk12@mass.gov
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.