Haverhill Schools Report Only Two Groups Test Positive in First Round of COVID-19 Pool Tests

Haverhill School Superintendent Margaret Marotta displays disinfecting wipes at a meeting of the School Committee just as COVID-19-instigated shutdowns were beginning in 2020. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill schools are reporting good news in the fight against COVID-19 with only two of 32 pools of students coming back positive for the virus.

Haverhill Superintendent Margaret Marotta said tests took place last Wednesday. She told WHAV yesterday what groups were among those tested during the first round.

“We concentrated on our Cohort C students who are coming back to school this week, their teachers and our sports teams,” she said.

Marotta said school nursing staff arranged for students in the positive pools to receive rapid antigen testing in time for returning to school. She explained only a small number of students were included in each group. “Between five to 10 people in each pool. We kept the numbers low intentionally this time,” Marotta explained.

People in the negative pools were sent emails indicating their status, she said. Pool testing continues as students return to classes.

“We’re having Cohorts A and B back next week so we will be doing some testing at the schools on Wednesday for those students. We’ll have another round of pool testing for Cohort C students that are in school that have consented as well as sports teams and staff,” said the superintendent.

According to the state, pooled testing involves mixing several test samples together and then testing the pooled sample for detection of the coronavirus. This approach, officials said, increases the number of individuals that can be tested using the same amount of laboratory resources as a single test.

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