Fri, 03 Dec 2021

BOSTON, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has announced that he is deploying up to 200 National Guard members to assist in testing K-12 school students for COVID-19.

Baker's executive order will initiate training this week and administering COVID-19 testing in schools by 18th October.

More than 2,200 schools are participating in at least one of three categories of testing, which are "test and stay," "symptomatic testing" and "pooled testing."

According to officials, pooled testing results showed positivity rates of less than 1 percent since the start of the fall school term, while test and stay, which tests close contacts, saved students some 25,000 school days and from having to quarantine.

"We are very thankful to the men and women of the National Guard for their assistance, to help school districts handle some operational challenges in order to continue to keep students, teachers and staff safe," said Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley.

"The National Guard was there when we needed them to drive some children to school due to a nationwide bus driver shortage, and now we are thankful they are once again willing to serve the children of the Commonwealth with COVID-19 testing," he added.

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