Mass. Education Health Officials Issue Covid Guidance For New School Year

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — On Monday, Massachusetts public health and education officials released new COVID-19 health and safety guidance for Massachusetts schools this upcoming fall.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) are not recommending mask mandates, contact tracing, surveillance testing of asymptomatic individuals, or test-to-stay testing in schools across the Commonwealth.

Students and staff who were exposed to COVID-19 but are asymptomatic will not be required to isolate out of school.

"With COVID-19 vaccines now readily available, treatments accessible to those at higher risk for severe disease, and widespread availability of self-tests, DESE and DPH have continued to evolve our support for schools in collaboration with the medical community and in line with the most recent CDC guidance issued August 11, 2022. This upcoming school year, districts and schools should focus their COVID mitigation strategies towards vulnerable and symptomatic individuals," the memo said.

While the statewide testing program ended in the spring, DESE and DPH recommend that schools and districts interested in implementing their own testing program during the 2022-23 school year limit that program to symptomatic rapid testing.

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