News & Announcements

CIC Health Logo
  • Health

1.     When do the updated DPH/DESE Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios go into effect?

The updated DPH/DESE Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios were released on December 30, 2021 and were effective immediately. The protocols can be applied retroactively for people currently in isolation or quarantine. So, if an individual tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the date the updated guidance was released, they should now use the 5-day isolation or quarantine period and return to school once they have met certain conditions as outlined in the protocols.


2.     Can individuals returning from quarantine and isolation remove their masks to eat meals?

Per the updated protocols, individuals returning from a 5-day isolation and quarantine must mask for an additional 5 days when around others. Like individuals participating in Test & Stay, during meals, masks should only be removed when individuals are actively eating. Additionally, DESE recommends a physical distance of at least 3 feet while eating, as feasible. This means masks must be worn when individuals are waiting for meals or sitting at lunch tables after meals are finished.


3.     What is the definition of fully vaccinated as it relates to the eligibility for the updated isolation and quarantine guidance?

At this time, and as provided in the updated DPH/DESE Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios, fully vaccinated is still defined as two-weeks following the completion of the Pfizer or Moderna series or two-weeks following a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.


Amendment to the Test & Stay Protocol


The Test and Stay duration has been amended from 7 days from the date of exposure to 5 days from the date of exposure. Close contacts 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 these individuals cannot be masked (i.e., when eating or drinking) they should maintain 3 feet of distance from other individuals to the extent feasible.

  • Take a rapid antigen test (e.g., BinaxNOW) on each school day and receive a negative result. When the 5 days from date of exposure includes weekends or holidays, individuals should quarantine on weekends, and if they remain
    asymptomatic, upon return to school to school be tested immediately. If the
    individual remains negative, they can stay in school.


Testing Reminders


We've received a large number of questions regarding post-holiday testing and we would like to remind everyone of the approved testing protocols for the program:

  • Symptomatic Testing: for when individuals present symptoms while at school; (individuals should not go to school if experiencing symptoms while at home)

  • Test and Stay: for asymptomatic in-school close contacts of individuals with confirmed COVID-19

  • Routine COVID Pooled Testing and School-Based Follow-Up Testing:  If a group tests positive, individual Follow-Up testing with a second sample collection occurs at the school with BinaxNOW 

  • Routine COVID Pooled Testing and Lab-Based Follow-Up Testing: If a group tests positive, individual Follow-Up testing occurs at the lab, without a second sample collection.  (Veritas or Broad Double Swab testing)

BinaxNOW tests may only be used for Test and Stay, Symptomatic Testing, and reflex tests after a positive pool. They are not approved for surveillance testing.


Co-ops and Internships

  • A student may attend their co-op or internship if they are a close contact and they are participating in Test and Stay. 

  • A student may NOT attend their co-op or internship if they are a close contact if they are NOT participating in Test and Stay.  Rather, they must quarantine.

  • If a student is participating in Test and Stay and cannot get tested at school, they can be provided an e-med test so that they can test prior to attending their co-op or internship. District should determine to whom the student should provide results.

  • Each school/district should establish disclosure protocols based on feedback with their legal team as the agreements between schools and co-op and internship programs may have specific requirements.  And, when in doubt, medical information should not be shared with a co-op. 


Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns by reaching out to

COVID-19 Educational Testing
  • Health

Why Do Routine COVID Safety Checks Work?

  1. Keep Kids and Staff Safe: catch cases before they spread to other students and staff

  2. Keep our Schools Open: prevent further time away from in-person learning and friends by knowing whether it's COVID, cold, or flu

  3. Stop the Spread: prevent infecting another member of your household or community

Visit for more information and resources.