Dear SAD4 Families,
We will be adding a new strategy to our COVID-19 prevention measures this year: “pooled testing.” Pooled testing means that students and staff in a classroom will have a COVID-19 test once a week. Students participating in pooled testing will not need to quarantine from school if they are considered close contacts of a positive case (from within the school), as long as they do not have symptoms. Pooled testing is a voluntary program. Parents must sign a consent form in order for their child to participate. All of the testing is free. We believe pooled testing will be an important part of keeping classrooms safe and will greatly reduce the amount of days any student will need to be out of school in quarantine.
HERE IS HOW POOLED TESTING WORKS:
• One day per week, each student who is enrolled in the program will do a self nasal COVID swab. Each child will be given a swab, and they will put it just inside each nostril, and then all the swabs will be placed in one testing tube.
• The tube will be sent to a lab. In about 48 hours, the school nurse will see the results of the test. If the tube, or “pool,” is negative, nothing needs to be done. The class will continue to be tested on a regular weekly basis.
• If a tube is positive, each person in that group will have another test 2-3 days later.
The school nurse will do a rapid “BinaxNOW” test at school. (This is the same test that Walgreens uses). Each student that has a negative “BinaxNOW” test can return to class.
• Any student who is positive will be sent home to isolate for 10 days, per CDC guidelines. Please have a plan to pick up your child from school in the event your child becomes ill. Be sure the school has your most up-to-date contact information.
• Following our current CDC guidelines, anyone who is a close contact of a positive case and is NOT part of pooled testing, will need to quarantine for 10 days. A COVID test is recommended 5-7 days from exposure, but a negative test will NOT release
• your child from quarantine early.
• Any student who is a close contact and IS part of pooled testing, can continue to come to school as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID. Students who are part of pooled testing may continue to come to school because they are being tested weekly for COVID.
• IMPORTANT: Any student who has symptoms of COVID – regardless if they are part of pooled testing or not – must stay home until symptoms have resolved and/or they have been cleared by their physician.
For more information on pooled testing from the company we will be working with, Click here.
We hope to begin testing on September 7th, and tests will take place weekly. To get started, please fill out the consent form with your permission to perform a COVID-19 pooled test for your student in SAD4. This process should take no more than 5 minutes to complete using a computer or a smartphone.
1. First, click here https://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com/minor-consent
a. If your student is over the age of 18, follow this link: https://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com/invite-by-code
2. Then, enter this access code: PIRATES
3. Finally, enter your child’s information, and you’re done!
Note: If you need to provide consent for more than one child, please complete the process once for each child.
We look forward to seeing your students this year and working with you to keep your students safe and healthy.
Wendy Viera, RN
School Nurse, SAD4
Use this link to get a paper copy of the form which can be printed and returned to the front office of your child's school.
Click picture above to get more information on what pool testing is.
Will be Reviewed 3/8/22