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Maine Schools Adopting Pool Testing to Beat Delta COVID Variant

Αssociated Press

A man tightens a bandana to serve as a face covering, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, in Portland, Maine. The state is struggling with the recent high rate of growth of COVID-19 cases. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

BANGOR, Maine — Maine is starting the week with more than a dozen outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools, and many schools are testing to mitigate the risk.

As of Friday, 384 of Maine’s 720 public and private schools had signed up with Concentric, a branch of Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks, for pool testing of students.

The Bangor Daily News reports that the program calls for student tests to be pooled and sent to a lab in Massachusetts. If there’s a positive test for a school, then individual students will be tested.

The school outbreaks come amid a surge in infections tied to the delta variant, which is spreading in Maine.