Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of public health shall, in collaboration with the executive office of technology services and security, establish a mechanism to gather data from at-home, self-administered tests for COVID-19, influenza, and other illnesses that the department deems detrimental to public health, provided that an FDA approved, or otherwise authorized, at-home test exists for said illness. The department shall work with the necessary partners to establish an online portal on the mass.gov website and an automated telephone line designed for this purpose. Residents shall be able to report up to two-tests per-day, per-illness, per-individual in the household, including themselves, any dependents in their care, and any other member of the household. Additionally, there shall be a separate mechanism for institutional reporting of self-test results for use by pre-K programs, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities in the Commonwealth conducting testing through the school health office or officials. These results shall be tracked and reported separately from tests reported by residential users. There shall also be a mechanism for the institutional reporting outside of the education context, including for congregate care settings, rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, and others deemed fit by the department. The department shall use these mechanisms to track (1) the total number of at home tests reported, (2) the number of those tests that had positive results, (3) the average positivity rate of at-home tests, and (4) the number of repeat or duplicative tests, including those testing positive after two or more positive tests. The department shall store and maintain this data for an appropriate period, and report weekly on the data gathered. At the discretion of the department, the reporting interval may be increased or changed, provided that reports are published at least once per week. The department shall collaborate with local boards of public health, school districts, and other stakeholders to ensure that the critical data is accessible to the public and decision makers. At the request of a local board of public health or local public health director, the department shall, to the best of its ability, provide localized data specific to the municipality requesting the data.
The department shall ensure that each reporting method is also able to provide immediate guidance to those who report a positive test, including instructions for following up with medical providers, ways to access treatments for the illness in question, and any addition guidance that may be needed for high-risk persons. Simplified reporting instructions for positive test results shall be provided for at-home tests distributed by the department of public health, department of elementary and secondary education, or other state agency, and posted on the mass.gov website.
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