WAKEFIELD – Acknowledging that nationwide data from the current “Test-and-Stay” program indicate that COVID transmission from close contacts is a rare occurrence in schools, Wakefield schools have decided to opt in to the new At-Home COVID testing program recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary Education.

As part of this shift in the program, the Wakefield Public Schools are discontinuing “Test-and-Stay” and contact tracing for in-school close contacts. This means that if a student 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.

“The goal of the program is to help you find out if your child is positive as early as possible so we can keep students healthy and in school,” the School Department wrote in a letter sent to parents. Two free test kits will be provided every other week for families who opt their children into the program. This new program replaces the Test-and-Stay program.

Parents must complete the Opt-In form for each student to begin receiving the at-home COVID testing kits. Testing kits will be sent home with students every two weeks for at home testing. At home testing will begin once tests are delivered from the state. The schools hope to start the new at home testing on Monday, February 14, 2022.

If a student receives a positive test result, parents must complete the positive test form for the school nurse.

Parents are asked to complete and submit the “opt-in” form for the At-Home testing program as soon as possible. A link to the online opt-in form was sent electronically to all Wakefield Public School families.