WEYMOUTH — Interim Superintendent Kathleen Smith and Interim Coordinator of Health Services Elaine Lane are pleased to report that Weymouth Public Schools has partnered with South Shore Health to offer COVID-19 surveillance testing for faculty and staff.
The COVID-19 surveillance testing initiative became available to WPS faculty and staff at the beginning of the new year. The initiative, which allows the district to monitor the prevalence of the virus in the school community and potentially identify asymptomatic cases, is hosted at a drive-through clinic in the Weymouth High School parking lot.
Surveillance testing is available for faculty and staff enrolled in the program on a voluntary, bi-weekly basis.
At the testing site, faculty and staff get both of their nostrils swabbed for a PCR test by South Shore Health employees. Test results are available 24 hours after the test has been conducted, and individuals will receive an email advising them to go to the app with a personalized code to retrieve their results.
Faculty, staff, and even students who aren’t enrolled in the program but are identified as a close contact within the district are also able to receive a COVID-19 test at this location on day five after their exposure to a positive case. Those who fall ill during the school day may also receive a same-day appointment at this location. These appointments are made by Interim Coordinator of Health Services Lane on an as-need basis.
“Surveillance testing has been an integral part of our ongoing COVID-19 prevention efforts,” Interim Coordinator of Health Services Lane said. “Through this testing, we are able to identify any positive staff member and promptly have them quarantine while we conduct contact tracing. If any staff member or student needs to receive a test following contact tracing, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in the program, we can set up an appointment for them to get tested at this site.”
The surveillance testing site at Weymouth High School can administer 200 tests per day, Sunday through Saturday between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. In addition to WPS staff and faculty, Town of Weymouth residents and public employees can also register online for surveillance testing at this location.
The partnership between Weymouth Public Schools and South Shore Health to bring surveillance testing to WPS was facilitated by former Superintendent Jennifer Curtis-Whipple, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Brian Smith, Interim Coordinator of Health Services Lane, representatives from the Weymouth Police Department, Weymouth Fire Chief Keith Stark, an additional fire department representative, Weymouth Chief of Staff Ted Langill and Director of Asset Management John MacLeod.
“Weymouth Public Schools’ partnership with South Shore Health is the culmination of our school and town leadership’s continued COVID-19 response efforts,” Interim Superintendent Smith said. “We are extremely proud that the testing location at our high school has the ability to serve the entire Weymouth community, and we hope to potentially grow the program in the near future if there are more town employees who are interested in joining. It is truly a remarkable initiative that allows our employees to have peace of mind during this tumultuous time.”
Any Town of Weymouth employee or resident interested in scheduling a test appointment can visit the Town of Weymouth’s website.