Gov. Baker Encouraging School Districts To Adopt Pool COVID-19 Testing

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Charlie Baker visited Nock-Molin Middle School in Newburyport Friday as part of an effort to encourage more school districts adopt the state’s pooled COVID-19 testing program.

Newburyport Public Schools is one of the districts to participate in the state’s program.

The girls’ volleyball team from Newburyport High School were tested at middle school during Baker’s visit. The governor congratulated them for being the example and stepping up.

“To get to the point where this thing is really starting to rock and roll is a real pleasure, I think, for all of us,” Gov. Baker said.

Read More: Gov. Baker Testifies On Massachusetts Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout

Superintendent Sean Gallagher said the program is being phased in across the district.

“Next week, we are going to increase the numbers with staff and students. And then March 7, we’re going to have a comprehensive testing program for all the grades and throughout all the schools,” he said.

The program is voluntary, but Gov. Baker would like to see it spread to more school districts.

“I’d love to see as many districts [that] want to participate in something like this to sign up for it because it’s a really effective way of dealing with one of the major questions people have generally about this stuff which is what’s going on in my building every week,” Baker said.

Currently, 159 school districts are involved in the pool testing program. Under it, the state pays for the first several weeks of testing, then it is expected that federal stimulus money will support future testing.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports

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(Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio)

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