One of the COVID-19 mitigation strategies available to us is pool testing, a procedure where a group of people, such as a class, are all Covid tested in a brief amount of time, and then we receive the results back a day later. If that group has a positive test, then individuals in that group are testing individually.Again, pool testing is entirely optional for each family. More information is forthcoming about how to sign up and other details specific to the District.
Here are specific details:
The Hopkinton School District is offering pool testing as an additional mitigation strategy, but participation is entirely up to parents. No child will be tested without the parent's consent. This OPT-IN practice will allow the District to identify positive asymptomatic cases to prevent possible spreading and to keep students in the classroom.
Pool testing is in groups (classrooms) of five to 25 students — who are often in a classroom together all day. The students are PCR-tested (nasal swab), and their swabs are put inside a large tube. A courier service picks up the samples and brings them to a lab outside Boston. The lab tests the group of samples together, and schools get results within 24 hours. The lab can run tests more quickly because it is testing up to 25 samples at once.
Suppose a group, or pool, comes back positive. In that case, students in that group are then given individual, rapid antigen tests that allow schools to know within 15 minutes which are positive or negative. The goal is to identify the positive cases quickly.
The District is working with a company, Ginkgo, to complete this Pool Testing and we are anticipating beginning the process on November 8. Once we finalize information and scheduling, we will inform families. In addition, we have scheduled a parent information ZOOM session via Ginkgo for next Tuesday, November 2, at 6:30 pm. The session will be a webinar about Pool Testing and how it works. All parents are invited to attend and need to register in advance.Please click on this link to register for the webinar.
Please check out the links below for more information before the information session on Tuesday.