By Vicki Greene, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The Marlborough School District has started sending out emails to parents to approve testing of their children for COVID-19 if needed. Parental permission is required because the district is using a third-party vendor to purchase two types of tests and to release the results.
Assistant Superintendent of Student Services & Equity Jody O’Brien, updated the committee at its Jan. 26 meeting on the two test procedures. The district already has received BinaxNOW rapid antigen test kits that can be performed on those students and staff that are symptomatic while at school. The school nurses have been trained on giving the tests, assuming parental permission is given. Results from the antigen test come back in 15 minutes and if a student or staff member tests positive they will be sent home and should be treated as positive COVID-19 cases, according to O’Brien. If the rapid test results come back negative, the student or staff member will be sent home and asked to see their healthcare provider for a PCR nose-swab test.
Superintendent Michael Bergeron explained that the district placed an order on Jan. 26 from the same vendor for PCR nose-swab tests so they can perform weekly testing for staff and students. Bergeron stressed that “it is unlikely we could perform weekly testing for all students, but we do believe we can offer a convenient alternative for some families with an after school weekly clinic.”
There are currently two free testing sites in the City that families are encouraged to use but the schools could offer a limited alternative. Bergeron did not have a definitive date as to when, or how many, PCR tests the district will receive. The tests are funded through federal and state monies included in the CARES Act.
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