CPS COVID-19 Information

Throughout the pandemic, CPS prioritized safe, in-person learning and made significant investments in a comprehensive plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We worked closely with the Cambridge Public Health Department and our school leaders to monitor the public health situation, gather input from scientific, medical, and educator experts (Health, Safety, and Facilities Working Group), and update our policies and procedures as necessary. We are poised to again respond quickly if conditions change.
On March 1, 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for COVID-19 to align with a range of common respiratory viral illnesses, such as flu and RSV.
  • Students and staff should stay home when sick.
  • Students and staff members who test positive for COVID-19, flu, or RSV should stay home, and recover from their illness as well as students and staff who are ill with unidentified viral or other illnesses.
  • Individuals may return after 24 hours if they are well, fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications, and able to participate fully in daily activities.
  • Students and staff are no longer required to isolate at home for 5 days after testing positive for COVID-19.
Immunocompromised individuals and those with family members with special health care needs may still want to consider masking to protect themselves and family members. We continue to encourage our school community to take preventive measures, such as staying up to date with all vaccinations and practicing good hygiene.

This school year, our COVID testing plan will focus on targeted at-home testing after school breaks. Our four-part plan includes:
  1. Back-to-School Testing: All students and staff will receive a package in the mail with a test kit to use at home before returning to school.
  2. At-Home Symptomatic Testing: All students and staff will receive test supplies to use at home when they feel COVID-19 like symptoms. Supplies will be distributed at school in September and January.
  3. At-Home Targeted Post-Break Testing: All students will receive test supplies to use the morning before returning to school after school breaks. Supplies will be distributed at school the week before Thanksgiving, Winter, February, and April break.
  4. Testing of Symptomatic Students: School nurses will have a supply of test kits in their offices to test students if indicated.
    • Free COVID tests are Available at City Hall, the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library and the Cambridge Public Health Department, located at 119 Windsor Street.
    • For more information, including when and how to take the test, please click here.

vaccination graphicCOVID VACCINATION 
On May 2, 2023, the School Committee voted to amend the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Students are no longer required to be fully vaccinated to participate in CPS-sponsored before and after school activities.

The vaccination requirement was implemented in the fall of 2021 when community transmission of COVID was high. Members of the Working Group recognize that conditions have improved and immunity has increased because of the vaccine and having the disease. We, in alignment with the Cambridge Public Health Department, will continue to strongly encourage getting the COVID-19 vaccine and all recommended boosters.

Masks continue to be optional in our buildings and at all CPS-sponsored events and activities, including before and after school programs. Per CDC guidance, masks are encouraged days 0–5 following a positive COVID test. Masking is required at all times in the Nurse's Office for the safety of the nurse and any students or staff members who may be present in the Nurse’s Office. Free masks are available at all schools.

Every school has maximized air circulation through a combination of central systems, HEPA filters, windows, and fans. Outdoor learning is periodically utilized as well.

We perform regular air quality testing (CO2 monitoring) and results are posted online. All classrooms will be tested multiple times throughout the course of the year. Classrooms that register a CO2 reading of 1000+ ppm will be tested more frequently while efforts to increase air circulation and quality are employed.

vax clinics
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