DRRSD Pooled Testing
Hello parents, caregivers, and guardians:
We thank you again for your support and partnership in mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus within our school community. There have been many layers to our success. Most recently, we have further collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and both of our Local Boards of Health on an initiative referred to as “pooled testing”. This resource is now available to the entire Dighton Rehoboth School District, at no cost.
The goal of pooled testing is to detect COVID-19 in individuals before an outbreak occurs. Disease prevention remains essential to maintain an optimal in-person learning environment. Regular COVID testing augments our core mitigation strategies, as more students and staff enter our facilities. Cohorts or pools of students and staff will obtain a nasal sample using a shallow swab and place this in a large tube to be sent to a certified lab for PCR testing. In most cases, children are able to swab themselves. Results from a pool ranging from 5 to 25 swabs are tested with results available in approximately twenty-four hours.
If a pool is negative, no further testing is required. If a cohort sample is positive, each member of the group will be tested using the Abbott BinaxNOW Point of Care to identify the positive individual(s). This testing will be done discreetly and confidentiality will be maintained. The pooled testing program is currently being implemented in over half of Massachusetts schools/districts. This equates to approximately one thousand schools and 329,000 students, educators, and staff eligible for SARS-COV-2 testing each week.
We realize you may have questions about this initiative and invite you to attend a Family Information Session offered by our DESE matched vendor Concentric by Ginko. This type of session allows for viewers to ask questions and gain feedback from a parent. We hope you will join them.
Date: Thursday, April 29th
Time: 7 - 8 pm
Please contact Alyson Bellora firstname.lastname@example.org or Kristen Donahue email@example.com.
Dr. Anthony C. Azar
Superintendent of Schools