Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (right) announced on Tuesday that he had activated the National Guard to help test schoolchildren for Covid.
Baker has activated 450 members of the Massachusetts National Guard for two missions: 200 members will support Covid testing at K-12 schools and up to 250 members will be used to compensate for staff shortages at the Department of Correction (DOC), the the governor’s office said.
School testing mission
“The Commonwealth has developed a leading COVID-19 testing program to help K-12 students stay in school safely. More than 2,200 schools have currently registered to participate in at least one of three types of tests: test and stay, symptomatic test and pooled test. Since the start of the school year, pooled test results show pool positivity rates of less than 1%, and the test and stay, which is used to test close contact, has saved around 25,000. school days for students who would otherwise have had to quarantine. “
Corrections Emergency Planning Department
In close coordination with public security officials, DOC continues to prepare for the possibility of a DOC downsizing due to failure to comply with Executive Order 595, which requires all Executive Department employees to present a proof of COVID-19 vaccination by October 17. Activating on-call before the deadline allows on-call staff to immediately begin job-specific training and take on roles, if required, in the event of a DOC downsizing.
Last month, Governor Baker activated the National Guard to take children to school amid a massive shortage of bus drivers.
Up to 250 Guardsmen were activated in mid-September to fill the shortage.
Dozens of state soldiers also resigned due to Governor Baker’s mandatory vaccination mandate.