LEWISTON — In a message to the school community Friday, Superintendent Jake Langlais announced that Lewiston schools will no longer conduct weekly pooled COVID-19 testing.

Langlais acknowledged that the testing program provides comfort to students, staff and parents, however the labor-intensive program has been challenging to run.

“(Pooled testing) does disrupt the school day and requires a big lift of staff,” Langlais wrote. “We felt it responsible to continue for a couple more weeks so we could see how the test results would go with masks being optional … to be on the safe side of things.”

Over the past several weeks, the number of positive pools has remained in the single digits, with many schools returning zero.

He said the school will continue to monitor public health indicators and will restart the pooled testing in the future if needed.

Pooled testing was widely adopted by Maine public schools last fall to help identify COVID-19 positive students and staff.

Lewiston schools first started pooled testing in October 2021.

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