New Year Brings Updated COVID-19 Testing Plan


Edan Zinn

Nurse Vicki Trinh collects PCR test samples during the community testing day.

Karly Hamilton and Edan Zinn

For the second time in a week, students and adults planning to return to the classroom after the holiday break received COVID-19 tests administered by the Broad Institute in Cambridge, with the School absorbing the financial costs.

Upon returning from break last week, classes were held remotely while COVID-19 testing occurred as planned Wednesday. However, Head of School Judith Guild and the COVID Response Team said that today would be used as an additional testing day for the PCR nasal swab, widely considered the “gold-standard” for detecting the virus, to ensure campus is as safe as possible when community members return. 

“Based upon what we have learned about members of the community who opted to return this week from travel and the positivity rate of the Greater Boston community, we have decided to remain in remote learning status until Wednesday, January 13 and to use Monday, January 11 as an additional testing day,” the announcement read.

Testing was held this morning to allow for remote classes in the afternoon.

After students and faculty return to campus this Wednesday, when test results are expected, the School is asking in-person learners to be tested weekly. Faculty and staff have been tested weekly since returning to campus in late August, and students will be included in weekly testing during the school day beginning Jan. 19.

The testing announcement also included the Keep Brimmer Healthy pledge, reaffirming the importance of “follow[ing] federal, state, and local recommendations and advisories” and “wear[ing] face masks,” among other precuations.

While the School hopes additional testing will make campus safer, administrators encourage community members to be mindful of their behavior and to follow safety protocols.

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  • Sophia Spring ’22 receives a PCR test.

  • School Nurse Vicki Trinh administers a PCR test.

  • Vicki Trinh organizes COVID-19 test samples.

  • Hand sanitizer and test tubes of PCR samples.

  • Upper School Head Joshua Neudel runs check-in during the community-wide testing day.

  • Buildings and Grounds Staff Member Eric Smith directs traffic.

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