Home COVID-19 Test Distribution

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    Dear BPS Families and Staff,

    Barnstable Public Schools will be distributing free COVID-19 test kits to all students and staff in preparation for our upcoming break. These tests have been made available by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). While a test is not required to return to school, we ask that you consider testing your child on January 2, 2023 (the day before returning to school).

    Note: The test kits may appear to have an expiration date that has passed; the expiration date has been extended and all tests are good for use through at least January 2023.

    Tests’ Expiration Date Information

    • Students - Tests will be sent home with students on December 21, 2022
    • Staff - Tests will be available to pick up in your building’s main office by December 22, 2022

    Each individual will receive three test kits (6 tests total).  If you do not wish to use the tests, please feel free to pass them along to someone else in the community or return it to school after break.

    If a student or staff member tests positive at any point during the break, please do the following:

    1. Report the case using the following form: COVID-19 Positive Case Reporting Form - note that the school nurses will not be checking email or voicemail over break.

    2. Notify your child’s pediatrician of the positive test result.

    3. Individuals who test positive may return to school on day 6 following the positive test and wear a mask through day 10, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been fever free for at least 24 hours.

    Please note, if a student or staff member is exposed to a case of COVID-19 over break, he/she may return to school as long as he/she remains asymptomatic. These individuals should wear a mask at school for 10 days after the exposure and test 6 days after the exposure (or earlier if symptoms develop). 

    As a reminder, sick individuals should remain home from school until feeling better; even if a person tests negative for COVID-19, there are many other illnesses in the community. Please also reinforce good hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and to not share cups/bottles/utensils with others

    We wish our families and staff a restful, healthy break!

    Alicia Bryant, Director of Health Services
    Sara Ahern, Superintendent of Schools 

22/23 COVID-19 Practices/Protocols

  • In an effort to keep our BPS community as healthy as possible, we ask that students and staff who are ill stay home until feeling better. As a reminder, students should never be sent to school if they have had a fever, vomiting or diarrhea within the last 24 hours. This helps to prevent all illness, not just COVID-19, from being spread among our students and staff. Please encourage good hand hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes, and not share cups, bottles, utensils, etc. with others. Illness related absences should be reported to the school nurse.


    • There is no general mask requirement for students or staff with a couple of exceptions (they are required in health offices and after a positive test).
    • Those who want to wear a mask are welcome to do so, and should feel comfortable doing so.


    • There will be no formal testing programs for starting the school year
    • If you are in need of an at-home test kit, please reach out to your child’s school nurse.


    Case Notifications

    • Families will not be notified of positive cases within schools.


    COVID-19 Exposure (Quarantine)

    There is no quarantine requirement for anyone who is exposed to COVID-19, regardless of where the exposure occurs, AS LONG AS the individual has no symptoms. 

    • Students and staff who are exposed out of school should wear a mask for 10 days following the exposure
    • A test on day 6 after the exposure is recommended
    • If someone exposed to COVID-19 becomes ill, they should NOT go to school and should seek testing


    COVID-19 Positive Cases

    If your child tests positive for COVID-19: 

    1. Contact your school nurse

    2. Those who test positive MUST remain at home for at least 5 days. To count days for isolation, Day 0 is the first day of symptoms OR the day a positive test was taken, whichever is earlier.  

    3. They may return on day 6 without a follow-up test** if they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving, they have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours, and they wear a mask on days 6-10.
    **NOTE: If the individual tests positive on days 6-10, they should NOT return to school. They may return once they test negative or on day 11, whichever occurs first.

    4. To return on days 6-10 without a mask, a test is required:

    TESTING ON DAY 5 (or later)

      • No Test - Must wear a mask on days 6-10
      • Test Positive - Must remain home until testing negative, or on day 11 (whichever is first)
      • Test Negative - May return to school with mask-wearing optional