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FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Public Schools District reported today, April 16, its participating rate district-wide, in the free COVID-19 pooled testing, has increased to 61.3%.

Participation is voluntary in the program.

Only students who are part of the in-person or hybrid learning can participate in the pooled testing. Remote students do not participate in pooled testing.

“We continue to encourage all of our students to participate in pooled testing! Free pooled testing will continue to be available weekly through the end of the school year for all students present for in-school learning. Although participation is voluntary, it is strongly encouraged,” wrote the district in its newsletter today, April 16.

In mid-March, only 46% of students were participating in the district’s pooled testing program to identify COVID-19 cases.

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By April 1, that number has increased to 56% district-wide.

The number at Framingham High was only at 37% as of April 1.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approved the public school district for pooled testing in January.

As of April 16 at 11:30 a.m., the district had conducted 628 Pools with 2,636 Students with 3 positive pooled results.

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What is Pooled testing?

The district began using the pooled testing in February when students in Phases 1, 2, & 3 returned to in-person learning. It was then offered to cohorts A & B when they returned to in person learning in March. Pooled testing is not conducted for remote students.

Pooled “tests combine respiratory samples from several students and then conduct one laboratory test on the combined pool of samples to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” explained Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay in January.

“If a pooled test result is negative, then all individuals within that pool are presumed negative and may remain in school. If a pooled test result is positive, then all individuals in the pool must be retested individually,” said Tremblay.

If any of the individual tests come back as positive, they will appear in the public school district’s coronavirus dashboard. Pooled positive results do not appear in the district’s dashboard.

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graphic from Framingham Public Schools

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.