COVID-19 Information and Data Dashboard

Purpose

The purpose of this webpage is to provide up-to-date information regarding local data and school data regarding COVID-19 cases as well as to be a resource to share ongoing updates regarding testing protocols and state guidelines. As a school district, we follow the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guidelines and associated state regulations, who partner with the Department of Public Health. Additionally, we work collaboratively with our local Board of Health and school nursing teams to manage information about cases and testing protocols. We are required to track cases and report the case data numbers to the DESE on a weekly basis.

The COVID-19 Data Dashboard is designed to provide you with weekly data regarding new cases as well as information on close contacts. We also will provide cumulative data to reflect the total number of confirmed positive cases reported to our school nurses since the start of this school year.

Updates to the Data Dashboard

We will provide updates to the dashboard on a weekly basis. Since our required submission date to the state is every Wednesday, we will provide updates to our dashboard each Thursday with data represented from the week prior (Thursday-Wednesday). Therefore, keep in mind that this is not a live dashboard. Instead, it will provide updates on a week-to-week basis.

Data Clarification

  • The Data Dashboard provides weekly data for the 2021-2022 school year, which began on September 1, 2021.

  • The data presented comes from cases reported to our school nurses and close-contact definitions as outlined by DESE guidelines.

  • The cumulative data is for the 2021-2022 school year only and is updated on a weekly basis.

Definitions

COVID-19 Positive Students and/or staff who test positive for COVID-19.

Close Contacts Based on updated DESE guidance, close contacts now fall into three categories.

  • Close Contacts (Quarantine) are individuals who are identified as out-of-school close contacts and are not exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols. 

  • Close Contacts (Test and Stay) are individuals who are identified as in-school close contacts and are not exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols. These individuals have the option to remain in school if they participate in Test and Stay (see below for info and consent). 

  • Close Contacts (Self-Monitor) are individuals who are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols but are required to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.

Breakthrough Cases represent fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

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School Data

We will track school data weekly through the following spreadsheet regarding cases by school level.

Testing Program Update

January 26, 2022

Dear Mendon-Upton School Families:

In the MURSD, keeping our students safe and in school has continuously remained as our top priority throughout the pandemic.  We have adapted and adjusted throughout the last two years to meet the shifting data, guidance, and protocols to create the safest environment possible.  Therefore, in response to recent changes and in accordance with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Public Health (DPH), our district is updating our COVID-19 Testing Program.   

Beginning the week of January 31, we are opting into the voluntary at-home testing program. For more information about this update to the statewide testing program, please click here

In addition to this new at-home antigen test option, we will continue with symptomatic testing during the school day. As part of this shift in the program, we are discontinuing Test and Stay and contact tracing for in-school close contacts. This means that if your child is a potential contact in school, they may continue to come to school and do not have to quarantine. 

This new at-home testing opportunity is voluntary and only those who opt-in will receive tests. We strongly encourage you to fill out the form to opt-in and to receive the tests as soon as possible. The opt-in form will continuously remain open, so if you choose to opt-in at a later date, you will begin to receive the at-home test kits as soon as the order is processed. If you have questions, please contact your student’s  school nurse. 

COVID-19 Testing Programs in our Schools:

  1. At-Home Rapid Antigen Testing  to be given every Thursday. 

  2. Symptomatic Testing 

    • (If you have not yet signed up for symptomatic testing,  click here)

Overview: At-Home Rapid Testing Program

  • About the Test: iHealth is a 15-minute at-home FDA-approved rapid antigen test

  • Opt-In: To participate, you must opt in by completing the online form. By opting in, you will agree to review the training materials for test administration, report positive test results to your student’s school, and administer the tests according to MURSD guidelines.

  • Weekly: Every two weeks you will receive an iHealth at-home rapid test kit. Each kit contains two individual tests. Your student will administer one test each week on Thursday.

  • Reporting Positive Test Results: If your student tests positive on an at-home antigen test, you will inform their school of the positive result using the positive test result notification form. The school will keep the results confidential and will not make individual results public. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you inform your healthcare professional of the positive result.

  • Easy, Free, and Flexible: This test is administered at home (not at school), reducing the burden on school staff and time needed to administer tests, and increasing a family’s flexibility to do testing in the home for free.

How do I administer the test?

  • Click here for a full “how to” written guide in various languages

  • Click here for a video of an individual self-testing

How do I submit results?

  • Submit Results: You must submit positive test results to your student’s school. Click here to submit these results.

  • Confidentiality: Positive test results are shared with your school district for informational purposes only. Individual results will remain confidential, and they will never be made public. 

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Testing Consent Forms

Dear families,

Thank you for your continued support as we kick off the 2021-2022 school year. In the Mendon-Upton Regional School District, keeping students safe and in school is our top priority. We have learned a great deal over this past year and our current guidance and procedures reflect the most updated recommendations from the CDC, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

For the 2021-22 school year, we are offering an extra layer of protection through our COVID-19 testing program. This program has two components that we are implementing to start the year: symptomatic testing for students who show symptoms of COVID-19 at school, and Test and Stay for students who may have been exposed while in school and are not exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols. Currently, we are not going to begin the year with routine COVID safety checks (formerly known as pooled testing), but ask that you complete the consent for this in the system as it may be something we need to do in the future. MURSD uses the BinaxNOW test. This is a quick, non-invasive nasal swab that is collected under the supervision of a school nurse or trained health provider. Unlike COVID-19 tests of the past, these are not uncomfortable and easy for students to do themselves under adult supervision.

Students can only participate with permission from a parent or guardian. It is important to the Mendon-Upton Regional School District that you are fully informed regarding this process and we answer any questions that you might have in advance of asking you to sign the consent form. Below we describe the testing programs, how they are conducted, and what they are used for. 

Symptomatic testing (BinaxNOW) is used when a student is showing symptoms of COVID-19 during school; students should not come to school if they are feeling sick while at home. Some symptoms of the virus can present similarly to other illnesses like the cold or flu. You can find the COVID-19 symptom checklist at the bottom of this webpage. BinaxNOW is a rapid test that provides results in 15 minutes. The school nurse will communicate with parents/guardians to share the results and determine next steps.

Test and Stay allows asymptomatic, in-school close contacts who are not exempt from testing and quarantine protocols to remain in school. Instead of needing to quarantine and miss school, these students will be administered a daily BinaxNOW test while in school or participating in weekend school-related activities (eMed Take Home Test). Test and Stay has a duration of 7 days from the date of last exposure.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate at home for the CDC-recommended ten days from the onset of symptoms or ten days from the date of the positive test. Additionally, the student must be without symptoms and fever-free in the prior 24 hours before returning to school. 

If you would like your child to participate in the COVID-19 testing program, please sign the consent form linked above. There is no cost for participation. If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact your student's school nurse.

It is our hope that these measures will work together to keep our schools safe and your student in school.  Thanks again for your support during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

 Maureen Cohen, Ed.D.

Interim Superintendent of Schools

Testing Protocols Explained

Symptom Checker

COVID-19 symptoms list:

  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), 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 cause, 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 symptoms

School Notification

  • Our school nurses MUST be notified immediately if a parent, sibling, or any member of our school community is ill or tests positive for COVID-19.