Free Student and Staff Testing for COVID-19
COVID Testing Update
Since the beginning of the 21-22 school year, Framingham Public Schools has offered free COVID-19 testing through Routine COVID Safety Checks (Pooled Testing) and/or the previously used Test and Stay program as part of its overall health and safety protocol and COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy. The District is partnering with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and CIC to manage the COVID-19 screening testing program.
On January 18, 2022, DESE, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Public Health announced an update to the COVID-19 Testing Program for Districts and schools. The biggest shift from this update makes it possible for Framingham Public School students and staff members to receive at-home rapid antigen tests. In moving to an at-home testing process, the District will no longer do contact tracing or Test and Stay.
Please note, Framingham Public Schools will still be doing Routine COVID Safety Checks (Pooled Testing) and all families are encouraged to provide consent and participate. The program is available to all pre-K-12 students and staff. Testing is available weekly for all participating students and staff. All testing uses a shallow nasal swab. Although this program is voluntary, participation is strongly encouraged for unvaccinated and vaccinated students and staff. Greater participation will allow the district to quickly identify positive cases and isolate them to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
At-Home Rapid Antigen Tests
For school-based summer programs (e.g., summer school, acceleration academies, extended school year, etc.), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will continue to provide self-tests for symptomatic testing. Staffing, software, and all other services currently provided through CIC Health will no longer be available through the state-run program. We will also be receiving test kits from the Framingham Department of Public Health to support
Community Member Test Options
Beginning Monday, June 27, the City of Framingham made 13,000+ iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kits available to the public. The kits are available at several municipal buildings and at several community-based organizations. Please visit the City's website for details: https://www.framinghamma.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2621
The state will no longer supply self-tests or other COVID testing services to schools and districts beginning in the fall. For the 2022 - 2023 school year, DESE and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health strongly recommend that schools and districts focus on symptomatic rapid testing only. Schools and districts will be able to purchase self-tests through the statewide contract.
Objectives of Testing
- Contain the spread of COVID-19 in our schools
- Allow our schools to remain open safely
- Increase safety in the school community by identifying and isolating infected people who are asymptomatic
- Increase comfort and peace of mind for students and staff in our school building
- Testing programs help keep students in the classroom and allow them to take part in the other activities they love