Massachusetts’ school pool testing program about to start

Massachusetts’ school pool testing program about to start

BOSTON (AP) — About 120 schools and districts have signed up to participate in Massachusetts’ weekly pooled COVID-19 testing program for students and educators, according to state education officials.

Together, they represent more than a quarter of the state’s public school students, a spokesperson for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education told Masslive.com. The department will continue to accept applications for the program through the end of the month.

Testing could start this week, spokesperson Jackie Reis said.

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While Boston’s school system is participating, the school districts in the state’s second and third largest cities, Worcester and Springfield, are not among the initial participants.

The program intended to keep more children in the classroom during the pandemic, was announced last month. Under the pooled testing program, 10 nose swabs from one classroom or cohort of students and staff will go into one tube to be tested together. If the pooled sample is negative, all the individuals are presumed negative. If the pooled sample comes back positive, all the individuals will be re-tested with the rapid test.

The pooled tests cost at least 75% less than the cost of an individual test, officials said.

State set to begin pooled testing to get students back in the classroom safely

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