25 Investigates: Hundreds of Mass. schools yet to receive state supplied COVID testing tools

BOSTON — 25 Investigates has learned that hundreds of Massachusetts schools are still waiting for their state supplied COVID-19 diagnostic tools.

This year schools in the Commonwealth have a new testing option that they can opt into. Massachusetts will continue pool testing. There’s also an option to ‘test and stay’ which is an effort to keep more students out of quarantine and in the classroom when there’s an exposure.

According to information from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2,200 schools have applied to participate in the testing programs of Friday, Sept. 10 and 88% of those schools have received their BinaxNOW kits. That means approximately 264 have not received any at all, even as children across the state returned to the classroom, some for the first time in 18 months.

DESE attributed this to an increase in demand for testing in schools.

The agency said the number of schools that have applied to participate in the testing is roughly double the number that were testing in the spring.

DESE says for schools that applied by 9/1, 90% have received their BinaxNOW kits or will receive them by Monday, Sept. 13.

25 Investigates will follow up with the state on Monday.

DESE says the comprehensive COVID-19 testing program in Massachusetts is “on the national vanguard of using testing to keep students safely in school.”

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