Pool testing funding window extended

Boston Statehouse

FILE – In this Sept. 19, 2020 file photo, a doctor takes a nasal swab sample to test for COVID-19 at the Cocodrilos Sports Park in Caracas, Venezuela. PAHO, the regional office for the World Health Organization in the Americas, said the week of Jan. 22 2021 that only 3,000, or about 1%, of the 340,000 COVID antigen testing kits sent to the country have been used. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix, File)

BOSTON (SHNS) –  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is extending the period of time during which it will cover the costs for schools and districts participating in a pooled COVID-19 testing initiative to screen students and staff for the virus.

When the program was announced in January, the department said it would fund pooled testing through March 28 and any schools that wished to continue the screening beyond that point would be able to do so if they paid their own way, with the ability to buy tests, materials and software through a statewide contract.

On Monday, education officials announced the state funding window would now run through Sunday, April 18, and the 171 schools and districts that have signed up for the program will continue to receive pooled testing through their vendor through that date.

Districts and schools that are not signed up are still eligible to apply.

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