Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker this Tuesday announced the activation of the National Guard to test school children for the coronavirus.
In his announcement, Baker stated that 450 Massachusetts National Guard members would help in the testing, 200 members for testing in K-12 schools, and 250 to offset staffing shortages at the DOC.
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“The Commonwealth has developed a nation-leading COVID-19 testing program to help K-12 students remain in school safely. Over 2,200 schools have currently signed up to participate in at least one of three types of testing: test and stay, symptomatic testing, and pooled testing. Since the beginning of the school year, results from pooled testing show pool positivity rates of less than 1 percent, and test and stay, which is used to test close contacts, has saved approximately 25,000 school days for students who would have otherwise had to quarantine.”
Department of Correction Contingency Planning
In coordination with the safety officials, the DOC prepares to reduce DOC staffing levels due to non-compliance with Executive Order 595. It obligates the Executive Department workers to show proof of C-19 vaccination by October 17.
With this activation, the Guard personnel will start job-specific training and assume roles in the event of a reduction in DOC staffing levels.
One month ago, Governor Baker activated National Guard to help to transport the children to school amid a massive shortage of bus drivers.
More than 250 Guard members had to fill the shortage.
Approximately a dozen state troopers resigned due to the vaccine mandates.