Governor Baker tours middle school in Newburyport participating in COVID-19 testing program

Coronavirus Local Impact

BOSTON (WWLP) – A pool testing program has now been launched in nearly half of the school districts in Massachusetts.

There’s been a huge push to bring students back for in-person learning but many educators and staff worry that it’s still unsafe. Governor Baker said he has a way to improve that.

The new pool testing program which has now been adopted by 159 of the Commonwealth’s 400 school districts aims to better test for the coronavirus. The pool testing program would take COVID swabs from multiple students and staff, then send them off to the lab in one batch.

That batch would be tested for the virus and if one comes up positive, everyone in the group would be asked to quarantine.

“And while we’ve certainly made progress with respect to vaccinations and mitigation, we really need to continue to find ways to make it possible for schools to be operational and for kids to be in school,” said Baker.

The Governor has set a goal to have all K-12 students return to the classroom by April.

The Massachusetts teachers union has pushed back on that timeline because they want to see teachers have access to the vaccine before they are forced to return to in person learning.

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