Howard County Public School System Superintendent Michael Martirano announced during a board meeting Thursday that the school system is in the process of distributing 70,000 COVID-19 at-home test kits to staff and students before spring break.
Schools and offices will be closed April 11-18 for spring break.
The kits, which were allocated by the State of Maryland for public school systems, contain two test kits each. They are intended to support diagnostic testing at home when staff and students are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, he said.
In addition, staff and students are encouraged to perform a health check before returning to school and use the tests if they are experiencing any symptoms.
Staff and students should not go to school if they have a cough, diarrhea or vomiting, difficulty breathing, a fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher, new loss of taste or smell, new onset of severe headache or a sore throat, according to the school system website.
“Use of the test kits is optional, but I see them as another important part of our multi-pronged mitigation strategy – including vaccination, ventilation and vigilance – to help ensure the health and wellness of our school communities,” Martirano said.