Andover Schools To Participate In State At-Home Test Program

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ANDOVER, MA — Andover Public Schools will participate in the state's new at-home testing program, the district said Monday.

Once the town has received test kits from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the district will distribute a kit every two weeks to participating students and staff.

"Each kit contains 2 tests, and each individual should test once per week," Superintendent Magda Parvey said in a letter to the school community. "Individuals can choose which day they would like to administer their weekly test, based on needs or symptoms."

Kits will be distributed to students at school.

"If an individual tests positive at home, they should enter this result in the Aspen Portal," Parvey said. "Schools will report the number of positive cases to DESE as part of the weekly COVID-19 reporting already in place."

The Test & Stay program and individualized contact tracing will both be discontinued once the program begins. Close contacts will no longer have to quarantine.

"We are encouraged that this program will support our staff and families with in-person learning and allow our nursing team to focus on identifying symptomatic individuals," Parvey said.

The program is optional and requires opt-in. Families should sign up via the Aspen Portal by Thursday if they want to participate, so the district can request the right number of tests. Instructions on signing up are available here.

"The test is the iHealth 15-minute at-home FDA-approved rapid antigen test," Parvey said. "Those who opt-in to the program should test weekly, regardless of vaccination status or whether or not they are experiencing symptoms. If your child is experiencing symptoms, we encourage you to take the test immediately."

Reported positive tests are for informational purposes and will remain confidential, the district said.

Anyone with questions should reach out to the district nursing team.

Christopher Huffaker can be reached at 412-265-8353 or chris.huffaker@patch.com.

This article originally appeared on the Andover Patch

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