How ‘Test and Stay’ aims to keep more kids in Mass. schools amid COVID-19

A new school year brings new teachers, new classes, new friends – and, yes, a new testing model.

Returning to classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic, students and educators this fall at some Massachusetts schools will find new state-sponsored virus testing programs aimed at more quickly identifying positive cases and close contacts of infected persons with the hope to keep kids safely in schools as much as possible.

Among the offerings the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is making available to districts this school year, the “Test and Stay” model has promising potential to help students remain in classrooms – rather than complete quarantine mandates at home – should they come in close range of a coronavirus carrier, educators say.

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