Updated COVID-19 Testing Program
Berkley Public Schools has been approved to move to the new at-home antigen testing program offered through DESE. DESE will provide at-home tests to all students and staff (regardless of vaccination status as part of this program). Participation for staff and students is optional and requires that you opt-in. If you opt-in, you will be provided with a kit containing two rapid tests every other week. We will likely send these tests home with students; exact details on distribution will be forthcoming. The expectation for those who opt-in is to take one test a week. Negative results do not need to be reported, but positive results should be reported through the online form provided.
As part of this program, participating schools will discontinue contact tracing and the test and stay program. We will continue to participate in symptomatic testing for those who develop symptoms while in school (do not come to school if you have symptoms at home). Berkley Public Schools will discontinue contact tracing effective immediately. Students and staff who are already in the Test and Stay protocol for this week will continue to participate, but we will not be adding new participants to Test and Stay. Most importantly, the responsibility for notifying others that they are a close contact will be solely on the positive individual. Discontinuing contact tracing and Test and Stay will allow our nurses to focus their efforts on those who are sick.
DESE has made this change because there are very low transmission rates occurring from in-school close contacts. Berkley Public Schools data has shown that as well. Positive transmission mostly happens from at-home close contacts; therefore, providing rapid antigen tests to those who opt to participate will more appropriately target where transmission is most likely. We are hopeful that a benefit of this change will be more students staying in school and participating in uninterrupted instruction.
Please note that staff and students can opt in or out of participation at any time. Below is more detailed information about this updated testing program, as well as corresponding forms. Please review each carefully. The information below can also be found on our website under the COVID-19 Information Section.
At-home antigen testing letter for students - Please read completely.
Opt-in form for students - One form must be completed for each student.
Opt-in for symptomatic testing (if you have already done this to participate in Test in Stay, you do not need to do it again).