December 31, 2021
Dear RPS Community:
There have been some important changes to the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) protocols for Covid isolation, quarantine, and testing. Rockland Public Schools will be following the updated protocols. Attached are DESE’s updated guidelines for positive cases, close contacts established in school, and testing recommendations.
The primary change with the updated guidance is the reduction of the duration of participation in the Test and Stay test program from 7 days to 5 days. If one refuses participation in Test and Stay, they will need to stay home for five days from the date of exposure. We have both PCR and antigen testing capacities.
For unvaccinated close contacts established outside of school, notification to the building nurse continues to be required and students and staff should stay home from school for 5 days from the date of exposure. We strongly recommend these individuals test on day 5 and wait to return until the test result is received. At-home tests will be accepted, but PCR testing is still available through the school. PCR testing on day 5 can be scheduled when you notify your building nurse. Masking and strict distancing while eating and drinking will be required through day 10.
All exposed individuals, regardless of vaccination status, should self-monitor for any symptoms for 10 days from exposure and stay home and get tested if any symptoms develop, even if they have had a negative test prior to symptom onset.
At this time the definition of a fully vaccinated individual is a person who is two weeks post second shot in the Moderna or Pfizer series or two weeks post-Johnson and Johnson first series. We strongly encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated and boostered. We do anticipate the definition of fully vaccinated to change to include a booster requirement. Vaccines and boosters can be scheduled at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
Most importantly, we ask that you keep yourself or your student home from school if you have any symptoms. Many doctors’ offices are offering same-day testing and we continue to have PCR testing available at school. Please contact your building nurse for more information.
We fully intend to open Monday morning and we are confident we can do so safely. We will continue to closely monitor appropriate mask-wearing (covering nose and mouth) and will continue to encourage the use of hand sanitizer and hand washing. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Alan Cron, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools