By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — About 2,000 schools in the state will take part in coronavirus testing this year, Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday. After touring a vaccine clinic at an Everett school, Baker told reporters he hopes everyone does what they can to keep students and adults safe at school.

“We have about 2000 schools plus or minus who have signed up some of them so far for one or more of the testing programs that we’ve made available to school districts across the Commonwealth. I personally would like to see every school in Massachusetts participate in those programs,” the governor said.

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That’s double the number of schools that participated last spring.

“It was an incredibly effective tool for schools to keep track of whatever was going on with respect to COVID, pre-vaccination among their students and in some cases, their staff as well. But in addition to that, it gave everybody this sense that every week we were doing something to create a surveillance measure that was measuring and testing and determining and kicking tires on every classroom and every kid and every adult about what was going on with COVID,” said Baker.

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Despite the fact that there were no vaccines for the majority of the school year last year, Baker said weekly testing proved that masks and protocols were effective.

“Most of them didn’t miss a day, with respect to COVID including a lot of schools that were in districts where case counts were really high at the same period of time. So I do think there are processes and protocols that can work here, but it’s going to be incumbent on all of us to support one another and make sure we stick with them.”

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Baker also mentioned that Massachusetts is above the national average for teens getting vaccinated, which could help some schools end mask mandates in October if they reach a vaccination rate of at least 80 percent. Staff