PCR testing to continue through semester


Ethan Yankey

Students drop off Covid tests during lunch. The School is continuing pooled testing through the end of the se- mester. Masters’ testing results can be found on the New York State COVID-19 Report Card.

Sophia Van Beek, Editor-in-Chief

Weekly pooled testing, which The Masters School has participated in since October of 2020, will continue until the end of semester one, Director of Health Services Sue Adams announced in an email on Oct. 7.

“Ms. Danforth just decided, and we spoke about it with our health advisory team, we decided that we’re going to go through to the end of the semester and probably until after winter break,” Adams said. “We’re just going to continue to monitor what’s going on locally, what’s going on in the state, and what’s going on in our school.”

In initial communications sent by the school at the beginning of the year, pooled testing was set to end after the week of Oct. 11. Adams said that this recent change is due to a combination of factors, including that boarding students are back on campus in full capacity and many sports teams are traveling to other schools for games. 

“We’re thinking it’s wise to continue to test athletes… Many schools we’re playing want everybody to be vaccinated. If you’re not vaccinated, say you have an exemption, they want a test within 72 hours,” she said.

Additionally, on Sept. 2, it became a New York State requirement for schools to test every unvaccinated member of their community, which is a majority of the Middle School.

Adams said that pooled testing would make it much easier to contact-trace those who came into contact with positive cases. If vaccinated individuals come within three feet of someone who tested positive, they would need to take a Covid test three to five days after the initial contact, but they do not need to quarantine. Having weekly pooled testing at school makes this much more accessible to the community.

“We don’t want people to miss [school] unnecessarily – it’s one thing if you’re sick, it’s another thing if you’re just waiting on a test,” Adams said. 

The School’s pooled testing results can be studied in more depth on New York State’s School COVID-19 Report Card, which has been linked on email communications about pooled testing results.

“The goal is just staying open and keeping kids in school,” she said. “I feel very fortunate that we’re doing the maximum we can to keep everyone safe.”