HANOVER, MASS. (WHDH) - A wrap on February vacation in Massachusetts ushers in a new need for COVID-19 testing.

Hanover’s Council on Aging is now serving as a testing site as students and staff members head back to school.

“If they need to get back to school or back to work after traveling then the test we provide – the PCR – is the best option to keep them safe, their families, and their community,” Hanover Deputy Fire Chief Jason Cavallaro said.

Hanover is just one school district asking anyone who left the state during break to alert the school nurse.

“We’re not judging them about their choices, we just want to support them to return to school safely,” Hanover Public Schools Health Director Patricia Smith said.

In Hanover, all adults and children over the age of 11 returning from out-of-state must get tested for COVID-19. Children 10 and under are not required to get tested if all other travelers in the household test negative.

Massachusetts Teachers Association President Merrie Najimy is voicing her concerns about students and educators going back to the classroom.

“Especially with the new variant, vacation comes with increased socializing, traveling, and the potential contribution to another surge,” she said.

Since students and staff are not vaccinated yet, the risk of infection is real.

Smith says that “Ideally people would stay home and not travel but we recognize that’s just not reality, so we are doing our best to provide a safe alternative.”

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