Archdiocesan schools plan to distribute tens of thousands of Covid-19 home test kits in the coming weeks as municipalities and health organizations struggle to stock up on these sought-after resources.
Catholic schools in the archdiocese announced Jan. 5 that after much work between the Health and Safety Task Force of the archdiocesan Office of the Superintendent of Schools and government officials, they will be able to provide every family and staff member with a Covid-19 home test kit.
Test kits have been delivered to all Catholic school communities in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Planning continues between school officials and Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office in anticipation of distribution to all remaining Catholic schools in the archdiocese.
The test should be used by any student or staff member who exhibits Covid-like symptoms or has been in a classroom where a positive case has been identified. School staff will reach out to the student and their family with direction on when and how to use the test provided. A flier with testing guidelines and information will accompany the kits.
“We are very thankful to Dr. Ted Long, the executive director of the New York City Test and Trace Cops, for securing these kits for our staff and families, and we are confident that Governor Hochul and the State of New York will come through for our schools as well,” said Michael J. Deegan, superintendent of schools for the archdiocese, in a statement.
“Our number one focus,” he said, “continues to be offering an excellent academic program in a safe and nurturing environment. These kits will go a long way in ensuring our students and faculty have access to proper testing should it be needed.”
Deegan concluded he remains grateful to the principals and teachers who continue to implement health and safety protocols “so we may maintain the same bubble of protection for our students and staff that we created nearly two years ago.”
The experts of the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools evaluate all the new guidance and information about quarantine, isolation, close contacts, testing and the associated timelines for each on an ongoing basis.