GHS rolls out pooled testing program


This week, Gloucester High School and O’Maley Middle School began a pooled testing pilot program designed to detect and monitor COVID-19 spread. 

Pooled testing is a new approach to detect COVID-19 cases quicker, allowing in-person learning to stay in session. Students and staff who registered for pooled testing received a nasal swab during their F-block homerooms. After completing a painless nasal swab, tests are “pooled” in groups of 10. In the occurrence of a positive test, all students and staff from that pool are given a rapid test in school to further determine spread. 

In the program’s first week, GHS and O’Maley did not report any positive cases as COVID-19 numbers have been trending in the right direction over the past month. 

GHS principal James Cook stressed the importance of student involvement in the testing.

“We tested 115 people at Gloucester High School, and we’re looking for your help to increase that number in week two,” Cook said. 

“The testing is easy and quick, so I saw no reason not to do it” said GHS senior Owen Hardy, “I was surprised with how simple the non-invasive test is”. 

The pooled testing program, expected to cost “tens of thousands of dollars”, is set to last until March 28th, when the district will evaluate its effectiveness to determine whether to continue the program. 

Students and staff are encouraged to register for the testing as it was “off to a good start.”