SCHOOLS COVID-19 TESTING

Identifying and responding to COVID-19 in schools

What is the Martha's Vineyard School Testing Program?

The Martha's Vineyard School Testing Program, TestEd, is the collaboration of Martha's Vineyard Bank Charitable Foundation and MV Youth coming together with Martha's Vineyard Public Schools to help keep our Island children, teachers, and administrators safer at school.

TestEd is now underway, using pool-based PCR (Polyamerase Chain Reaction) tests that are completed at home, and Martha's Vineyard Bank Charitable Foundation is the fiscal agent for the program. TestEd is one of the first and most comprehensive COVID-19 primary/secondary school testing programs in the State with the goal of taking proactive measures to identify and respond to COVID-19 in the school community.

FAQs

Test ED is funded by private donations and school funds. The total cost of $462,150 is a combined effort among Martha's Vineyard Bank Charitable Foundation ($100,000), MV Youth ($212,150)and Martha's Vineyard Public Schools ($150,000).

Yes, Martha's Vineyard School testing program will be among the first and most comprehensive primary school testing initiatives in the State of Massachusetts.

The program's goal is to take proactive measures to identify and respond to COVID-19 in the school community so that students can safely attend school in person while we all await a vaccine and will help school administrators make informed decisions.

The school will undergo surveillance testing using pool-based PCR (Polyamerase Chain Reaction) tests, sometimes called "the gold standard" of testing, and subsequent individual PCR tests to identify positive individuals. PCR tests detect genetic material that is specific to the COVID-19 virus and can identify the virus within days of infection, even in asymptomatic cases. The tests are completed at home using a simple saliva collection kit and then returned to the school, where they're overnighted to a specialized lab for analysis. The at-home saliva testing method is faster, more convenient, safer, and more easily accessed by both students and staff.

Yes, in addition to identifying individuals who test positive for COVID-19, regular testing in the schools benefits the entire community. All positive results will be included with community testing data as required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, while significant research demonstrates that positivity rates within schools are considerably lower than those of the surrounding community, having more data about COVID in the Martha's Vineyard schools will be of tremendous assistance to health officials on the Island.

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