For Families

Let’s get back to school!

Testing helps schools reopen, quickly and responsibly.

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Can You Pick Your Nose?

If so, you can take this test.

To quote a sixth-grader, “The test is not bad at all. It just tickles.” Our quick-and-easy test helps students and teachers get back to learning with peace of mind.

See How

'Boogers down': Biden’s bid to reopen schools may hinge on ‘pooled’ testing

Ginkgo has partnered with school districts in Massachusetts and Maryland to administer hundreds of thousands of PCR tests per week, at a cost of about $6 per student.

What is pooled testing for COVID-19 and how can it help fight the virus

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Here’s what pooled testing is and how it can be used for the coronavirus

Safer reopening will require millions more Covid-19 tests per day. One solution: ‘pool testing’

How It Works

Testing as Simple as A-B-C, 1-2-3

K-12 schools across the country have successfully used our easy testing program. Pooled testing an entire class takes just minutes, so students and teachers can focus on learning.

1

Permission Slip

All parents and guardians have to do is fill out a consent form. After that, everything is taken care of by us and your school.

2

Your Student Swabs

Our self-swab test is so easy a kindergartener can do it. We use short swabs (think: cotton swabs), not brain ticklers! We like to say, “If you can pick your nose, you can take this test!”

3

Classroom Pooled Results

If the result is negative, it’s unlikely anyone is infected. If the result is positive, someone in the classroom is most likely sick; then schools can decide next steps to stop or prevent outbreaks.

4

Get Back to Learning

Testing in K-12 schools helps students and teachers get back to school with peace of mind. Our quick and easy process takes just minutes to perform, allowing students and teachers to focus on learning.

Learn more about pooled testing for your student’s school today. Join one of our family info sessions.

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For Families
  • How can families support classroom testing?

    The best way families can support school testing is to provide their consent to allow their student to participate. Working together, schools and families can be advocates for community wellbeing; participating in pooled testing empowers you with data that can help safeguard the health and wellbeing of teachers, students, and your community. 

  • Who can access the list of students who participate in testing?

    Only students with completed consent forms are able to participate in testing. Schools manage gathering consent forms from families either using processes that already exist at their school or using our online platform. Once consents are collected, the testing team at a school will receive a roster of students whose legal guardians have given consent. This team may be composed of principals, health services staff, and teachers.

  • If my child is positive, will other people know?

    Our pooled test provides a result for an entire classroom, not for individuals. So, in the case of a positive pool, the school would know that at least one person in the class is likely positive but would not know the specific student.

  • How do families receive test results? How will results be used?

    We provide test results directly to schools, so the school will communicate with you about results. We take privacy concerns very seriously and will never use test results for any reason other than to provide your school with knowledge to help make decisions about safeguarding your community and continuing in-person learning. Click here to learn more about how we protect the privacy of students and others who use our pooled test.

  • What happens if my child’s pool is positive?

    Schools often follow up positive pools by providing resources for individual testing. For instance, the state of Massachusetts recommends that schools follow up positive pools with rapid tests that they provide. Please check with your school about its specific guidelines and available resources.

  • Can a child who has already tested positive for COVID-19 participate in classroom pooling?

    If a student has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last three months, they should not be included in pooled testing because they may still produce a positive test result. This is due to the fact that our test may detect leftover viral particles in a student’s nose.

  • Who performs the test? Will there be any physical contact with my child?

    Students swab their own noses with a short swab that goes only half an inch into the nostril. A teacher observes the students perform their swabs from a safe distance, but there is no physical contact. 

    If students have trouble performing the swabbing, schools can provide a nurse or other trained staff member to help. However, the test is so easy that kindergarteners typically can do it with no issues.

     

Our Service
  • How long does classroom testing take?

    Testing an entire classroom usually takes about 10-15 minutes and speeds up after the first day. The students become pros at picking swabbing their nose.

  • What grade levels can perform their own swabs?

    In our experience, not only can kindergarteners perform their own swabs, they often do the best of all the grades. Our test can be used by any grade, K through 12.

  • How do I sign up?

    Click here to get started!

  • How do I run a school testing program?

    We’re here for you! The first thing we do with new customers is provide them with comprehensive instructions explaining how to set up and run a testing program. We provide you with all the information you need to make sure everything runs smoothly. As of March 2021, we’ve provided our pooled testing service to 800 schools; we’ve learned a lot about what schools need and are constantly improving our service to better serve you.

  • Why should we pool samples instead of testing individually?

    Pooling dramatically reduces the cost of testing without sacrificing accuracy. If the pooled test result is negative, it’s unlikely anyone is infected and students continue learning uninterrupted. If the pool result is positive, someone in the classroom is most likely sick; you can then follow up to stop an outbreak—for just the cost of one test.

    When a positive pooled test result occurs, a pod can use diagnostic tests to help confirm who is sick. The decision to do follow-up testing is up to each school. A common next step is to provide individual testing for students in the positive pool.

     

  • How does classroom pooling work?

    All students in a class, pod, or cohort swab their own noses and place their samples in a single tube (that’s the pooling step). The samples in that tube are then run as a single sample, using one test. See it in action here.

    If students have trouble performing the swabbing, schools can provide a nurse or other trained staff member to help. However, the test is so easy that kindergarteners typically can do it with no issues.

  • How often should schools test?

    The CDC recommends that schools in areas with moderate community spread test at least once a week. For areas with higher rates of community spread, the CDC suggests considering testing twice a week.

  • Why should we test for COVID-19 in schools?

    You know the old saying: “knowledge is power.” Tools like pooled testing empower you to make great decisions. Without knowing the specific prevalence of COVID-19 in your classrooms, it’s tough to make informed decisions about safeguarding your community, returning to school, or continuing in-person learning.

From Our Blog

Watch Our Nurse Appreciation Week Info Session!

Testing Tips from Kathleen Thompson, MS, RN, Nurse Leader from Medfield Public Schools

May 20 2021
News Flash: COVID Testing in Baltimore City Schools

The school system's testing program has become a model for schools nationwide

May 12 2021
Swabber Spotlight: Hear From Nurses About Classroom Testing!

For Nurse Appreciation Week, we asked you to nominate exceptional nurses. Here’s what those nurses had to say about their pandemic experiences.

May 12 2021