Pooled testing involves mixing several individuals’ test samples together into one “pool” and then testing the pooled sample for COVID-19. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested at one time and allows us to regularly test our school community for COVID-19.
The pooled tests will be performed once per week with a shallow nasal swab for all participating students and staff members. Schools will receive the pool results within 24-48 hours. If the result of the pool is negative, then all individuals are presumed to not have COVID-19. If the result of the pool is positive, then all individuals in the pool must be retested individually. Because pooled testing does not give individual results, you will only be notified if your child requires follow-up testing. Our school will be providing the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test for follow-up testing, so that students or staff in a positive pool can be tested as soon as possible and receive individual results in 15 minutes. Additionally, individual PCR testing will be available to all pool participants of the Newburyport Public Schools if the BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test does not reveal the positive pool member.