COVID-19 Resources

Mask Mandate

The Department of Elementary & Secondary Education  Commissioner of Education Jeffrey Riley announced on February 8 that the statewide requirement for masks in K-12 schools would expire on February 28, 2022.   On February 16, the Quincy School Committee held a Special Meeting to review the local policy and voted to align with DESE.  Beginning on Monday, February 28, face coverings/masks are no longer required in any Quincy Public Schools buildings, with the following exceptions:

Þ All students and staff are required to continue wearing masks in the school Health Office.

Þ Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and return to school after their isolation period will be required to wear a mask for 5 days.

Students and staff may still choose to wear a mask or a face covering while inside our school buildings,  whether due to personal or family medical concerns or personal choice.  We encourage everyone to make the decision that is right for you and your family and to respect and support these individual choices, including reinforcing this message at home.  Masks will continue to be available in our Health Offices and other locations in school buildings, as well as on school buses.  Any student or staff member that has a medical concern of any kind is encouraged to speak to their school nurse, principal, or to call the QPS main office for assistance.  Should you have any questions regarding these changes, please feel free to reach out to your school principal. 

What is Routine COVID Pooled Testing?

Shallow nasal swab samples are collected at school and put into a single tube (maximum 10 samples per tube).  If a group tests positive, individual Follow-Up testing with a second sample collection occurs at the school with BinaxNOW and/or individual PCR testing, as necessary.   

How do I consent to Routine COVID Pooled Testing?:

In order to consent to these programs please use the following link:  Enroll in COVID-19 Testing for Schools.  Please note than by consenting to Routine Pooled Testing you are also agreeing to participation in Symptomatic Testing. 

What is Symptomatic Testing?:

(for when individuals present symptoms while at school; individuals should not go to school if experiencing symptoms while at home): Shallow nasal swab samples are collected at school using the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test or another approved diagnostic test.

How do I sign up to receive Home COVID-19 Test Kits?:

Please follow this link: https://forms.gle/o9MQ8efpCCztqXxc8

Tests are distributed every other week on Friday. May 27 & June 10 are the remaining distribution dates for this school year.

COVID-19 Symptoms list:

  • Fever, chills, or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Cough (not due to other known causes, such as chronic cough)
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symtoms

Definition of a close contact

Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-positive individual while indoors, for at least 15 minutes during a a 24-hour period.  Please note that the at risk exposure time begins 48 hours prior to symptom onset (or time of positive test if asymptomatic) and continues until the time the COVID-19 positive individual is isolated.   

In general, close contacts should follow the testing and quarantine response protocols outlined below.  However, certain close contacts are exempted from testing and quarantine response protocols as noted below.

Who is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols:

  • Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts:  Individuals who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated (fully vaccinated is defined as two-weeks following the completion of the Pfizer or Moderna series or two-weeks following a single does of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine) are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.  
  • Classroom close contacts:  An individual who is exposed to a COVID-10 positive individual in the classroom while both individuals were masked, so long as the individuals were spaced at least 3 feet apart, is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.
  • Bus close contacts:  Individuals on buses must be masked according to federal requirements.  As such, individuals who are masked on buses when the windows are open are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.  
  • Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days:  An individual who has been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and then becomes a close contact of someone with COVID-19 is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols if: The exposure occurred within 90 days of the onset of their own illness AND the exposed individual is recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms.  
 

Quincy Public Schools Response Protocols for Testing and Quarantine

Protocol for Individuals who test positive for COVID-19:

An individual that tests positive for COVID-19 needs to self-isolation for a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset or after positive PCR or antigen test, if asymptomatic (Note: the day the symptoms began or the person tested positive is considered to be day zero)

Positive individuals can return to school after 5 days and once they have:

  • Been without a fever for 24 hours (and without taking fever-reducing medications)
  • Experienced improvement in symptoms
  • Following the 5-day isolation period, individuals must mask for 5 additional days when around others.  

Protocol for asymptomatic close contacts who are not exempt from testing and quarantine:

Students who are in school close contacts who are not exempt from testing and quarantine may participate in the DESE/DPH Test and Stay program.   Test and stay is conducted for 5 days from the date of exposure.  (Note: if day 5 falls on a weekend students will be tested using a rapid antigen test that Monday as their last day of Test and Stay)  Close contacts who participate in Test and Stay can remain in school and do not have to quarantine as long as they:

  • Are asymptomatic
  • Wear masks in school at all times, other than when eating or drinking.  When individuals cannot be masked (eating or drinking) they should maintain 3 feet of distance from other individuals to the extent feasible.  
  • Take a rapid antigen test (BinaxNOW) on each school day (5 days) and receive a negative result.  
  • Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10, and self-isolate at home if symptoms develop.

Student who are in school close contact who are not exempt from testing and quarantine who choose NOT to participate in Test and Stay must quarantine for at least 5 days from the date of exposure.  (Note: Date of exposure is day zero) Students may return to school on day 6, provided that they:

  • Remain asymptomatic 
  • Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10, self-isolate if symptoms develop, and adhere to strict mask use for additional 5 days. 

Best practice would also include an antigen or PCR test for COVID-19 at day 5 after exposure.  An antigen test may be self-administered and does not need to be proctored or performed by a healthcare professional.   

Protocol for symptomatic individuals

This protocol applies to vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals who experience the COVID-19 symptoms listed above and who have not tested positive for COVID-19.

Students may return to school when their symptoms resolve or after they:

  • Have received a negative PCR or antigen test result for COVID-19.  
  • Have improvement in symptoms
  • Have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.

Note:  If the symptomatic individual was a close contact who is not exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols, after symptoms resolve and they receive a negative PCR test, they may return to school if they participate in Test and Stay or if they choose not to participate in Test and Stay they would continue to quarantine for 5 days from the date of exposure.  

Unvaccinated Household close contacts:

Students who are unvaccinated household close contacts are not eligible to participate in Test and Stay.  Household close contacts should quarantine for the 5 day isolation period of the positive person and an additional 5 days of their own quarantine.  The household close contact may test on Day 10 from the original positive case and if negative, and/or if they remain asymptomatic, can return to school on Day 11 from the original positive case. 

Household contacts who can isolate from the positive case need to quarantine for 5 days.  They may return on day 6 as long as they remain symptom free.  

Vaccinated Household close contacts:

Vaccinated household contacts may continue to attend school as long as they monitor for symptoms.  Students who develop symptoms should quarantine and be tested.  

Does my child need a negative test in order to return to school after quarantine or isolation?

In general students do not need a negative test in order to return to school from quarantine or isolation.

 The only time a student needs a negative PCR test in order to return to school is if all of the following information is true:

1. The student has been identified as a close contact.

2. The student has developed symptoms.

3. The student is not vaccinated.

If you need assistance getting an individual PCR test please contact Rita Bailey at [email protected] or Erin Perkins at [email protected] and we will try and assist you.

How do I access streaming if my child is out due to COVID-19?

Students in all grades are able to live stream if they are out due to quarantine or isolation as a result of COVID-19.  Once the school receives notice that at student is absent as a result of COVID-19, the school will offer the parent/guardian the option of streaming.  Schools do require one (1) day notice in order to set up streaming.  If your child is out as a result of COVID-19 and streaming has not been set up, please contact your school principal.  

Does my child have to stream if they are absent due to COVID-19?

No, students do not have to stream if they are absent as a result of COVID-19.  Make-up work will be provided for students who chose not to stream during their absence.  Please contact your school principal in order to access make-up work.  

Can I use a school chromebook if my child is absent due to COVID-19?

Yes, chromebooks are available for students who do not have a 1 to 1 device to use during absences as a result of COVID-19.  Please contact your school to request a device.  If you are unable to pick up a device from your school please let the office know and arrangements will be made to deliver a chromebook.

How do I get help trouble/shooting the technology so that my child can access streaming?

Please contact the Quincy Public Schools IT department if you need assistance with technology at 617-984-8770.  

What happens if everyone in a positive pool tests negative during follow-up testing?

Members of a positive pool are retested the next day using a rapid Antigen test.  In the instance that all members of a positive pool test negative on the rapid test, members of the positive pool will be retested the next day.  If all members retested test negative on a Friday, the pool will be retested the following Monday.