COVID-19 Information & Updates

    Updates

    As we continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation, this page will provide you district updates and links to helpful information and resources. Please be sure to check back regularly!

    Covid Dashboard Flyer

    For more detailed dashboard information, please view our metrics for return to learn dashboard.

    Abbott-BinaxNOW & Surveillance "Pool" Testing Program

    With the arrival of the more highly contagious Delta variant, the Mohawk Trail Regional School District’s position on pool testing has changed since last spring. This is due to the significant increase in transmissibility of the Delta variant, as well as the likelihood of vaccinated individuals being asymptomatic should they get COVID-19. In order to keep our school community healthy and safe, the COVID-19 School Planning Task Force and Administration determined pool testing would be another mitigation strategy to complement the FAB FIVE: vaccination; mask wearing; washing hands frequently; physical distancing; and staying home when unwell. MTRSD has been accepted into the state’s COVID-19 testing program including BinaxNOW and weekly surveillance “pool” testing program. The program is funded by the state at no cost to the district.

    The testing program will begin in late September once the district receives all necessary supplies. To implement the testing program, the following protocols were discussed and approved by the Mohawk Trail School Committee on September 8, 2021. Under the pool testing program:

    • Any MTRSD student or staff member may voluntarily elect to be tested weekly for COVID-19 using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pooled testing procedures outlined below. A PCR test is a diagnostic test that determines if you are infected with COVID-19 by analyzing a sample to see if it contains genetic material from the virus.
    • Any MTRSD student or adult involved with district before- and after school programs, athletics, or extracurricular programming will be required to participate in the weekly testing program.

    Pool testing will be administered in school buildings. Under the surveillance pool testing protocol, MTRSD school nurses will administer the tests, which involve collecting anterior (shallow) nasal swab samples from a group (or “pool”) of six to ten individuals. These samples will be combined and sent to Cambridge Innovations Center Health (CIC), a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) contractor, to conduct the lab analysis. The PCR test results will be available for review by the District Nurse Leader within 24-48 hours.

    The Results: What Happens Next?

    If a pooled sample generates a positive result, each individual in the pool will have a second anterior nasal swab and a BinaxNOW test performed at the school.

    • If results from the second individual test are negative, the individual will continue to attend class or regular duties without any limitations.
    • If results from the second test are positive and the individual is a student, the student’s caregiver will be notified of the need for immediate pick-up.
    • If results from the second test are positive and the individual is a member of our district staff, the employee will be notified immediately and asked to leave the school building.

    The District Nurse Leader/COVID-19 nurse and/or the local Board of Health will contact the caregiver/individual to review isolation requirements for the positive person per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and DESE policies.

    When a positive case is identified, contact tracing begins immediately to determine those deemed a “close contact.” Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within six-feet of a COVID-19 positive person while indoors for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

    All close contacts who were exposed within the school community (at school, on a bus, etc.) are able to participate in the “TEST and STAY” protocols.

    What is “Test and Stay?”

    The Test and Stay program allows those who are identified as a “close contact” and exposed within the school community (students, staff, coaches) to test immediately for COVID-19 using the BinaxNOW antigen test. Testing is conducted by the school nurse upon their arrival at school each day for one week (seven consecutive days). BinaxNOW test results are available within 15 minutes.

    If the person deemed as a close contact remains asymptomatic and continues to test negative daily, they may continue performing and participating in regular school activities. This allows for a safe way to monitor close contacts and increase time in the classroom.

    If you have any questions surrounding the process, procedure, or need additional information, please reach out to our district Nurse Leader Donna Weber or Superintendent Sheryl Stanton.

    Sign Up Online

    Select: Consent Now - Mohawk Trail - (select your school)

    For staff, coaches, or anyone over 18 years of age, please select “Sign consent form for yourself.”

    For caregivers who need to give consent for their child/ren, please select “Sign consent form for a minor.”

    If you are unable to complete the online sign-up/consent, please contact Donna Weber for a paper copy to complete.

    Virtual Town Hall

    The Mohawk Trail Regional School District's COVID-19 School Planning Task Force hosted a virtual town hall on Tuesday, August 17 via Vimeo to share updates and information regarding COVID-19 as we gear up for the 2021–2022 school year. During the meeting, Superintendent Stanton shared proposed updates to the district's mask policy and preparing for back to school. The MTRSD School Committee will host a special meeting this week to vote on proposed updates to the mask policy. Visit the SC Meeting page for the list of upcoming meeting dates, and see Superintendent Stanton's virtual town hall presentation slides for more information.

    If you missed the broadcast, you can watch below.

    August 17, 2021, Virtual Town Hall

    2021–2022 Draft Reopening Plan