[LincolnTalk] COVID testing for our schools

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[LincolnTalk] COVID testing for our schools

Susan Taylor
The Lincoln School Committee has recommended pursuing participation in a COVID-19 testing program offered now by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  This recommendation approved Tuesday evening will be voted on formally at Thursday's (Jan 14) School Committee meeting (see below for instructions to view or to participate.
The DESE opportunity provides 6 weeks of in-school testing, beginning in late January or early February, at no cost to districts. The program includes weekly testing of individuals with a short nasal swab.  The samples are collected in “pools,” or groups of individuals. For example, one classroom cohort may be tested as a pool. If results are received indicating a positive result in a pool, members of that pool receive a second, quick-response test to identify positive individuals, and appropriate contact tracing and quarantine measures will be taken. This two-step testing process may help to identify asymptomatic positive individuals within the Lincoln and Hanscom schools and help to reduce or eliminate spread of the virus. Parents and employees must opt in via completion of a consent form. 
Districts must respond to DESE indicating interest in participating in the testing program (unveiled by Gov. Baker last week) by Friday, January 15th.  Districts then will provide documentation to DESE that demonstrates that the district has a sound plan in place for testing implementation. A district COVID Testing Team will be convened immediately in order to develop plans for testing for approval by DESE.   Details of the DESE-sponsored testing program will be reviewed at Thursday's School Committee meeting.

Thursday’s School Committee meeting also includes the Public Hearing on the School District’s FY22 Budget proposal.

School Committee Meeting
Thursday, January 14, 2021
7:00 pm, Remote Participation via ZOOM**

Members of the public can watch live-streaming on local access TV channels 8 and 33 or on the Web lincolntv.viebit.com.  
Anyone interested in participating in the Public Comment portion of this meeting please email [hidden email] anytime prior to 5pm the day of the meeting and you will be sent log-in instructions.

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