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

Pooled COVID-19 testing can help keep kids in school

Boston Globe

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Why your kids’ school could stay open this winter if we ramped up COVID-19 testing

USA Today

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

Pooled COVID-19 testing could help reopen schools safely

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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Classroom Pooling
  • If a student who has recovered from COVID-19 is in a pool, is there a possibility of that pool coming up as a false positive?

    Yes. We recommend that individuals who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 not be included in pooled testing for at least 3 months post recovery as they may still produce a positive test result.

  • What type of swab is used for the pooled test?

    This is a self-collected anterior nasal (AN) swab. Unlike a nasopharyngeal swab, which reaches deep into the nose to take a sample from the back of the throat, an AN sample is taken from the lower part of the front of the nose , at least half an inch inside the nostril. This method both increases comfort and requires less PPE than nasopharyngeal swabs. Instead of a healthcare provider performing the test, students can easily collect their own samples under teacher supervision.

  • Is the pooled test a molecular test or an antigen test?

    This method of testing uses a molecular test that detects the presence of the viral RNA. In Ginkgo’s lab, we use a molecular test similar to qPCR based on a technology known as next-generation sequencing (NGS), in which a small part of the coronavirus genome is sequenced or “read” to determine whether or not that virus is present in a sample. We are also partnering with and validating PCR labs to run pooled molecular tests.

  • How accurate is this test?

    Molecular tests are highly accurate at detecting the virus that causes COVID-19. In validation studies, our test was able to correctly identify 96% of positive tests detected by the “gold standard” PCR test using a deep nasal swab and 100% of negatives (meaning that there were no false positives).

  • What is the cost for pooled classroom testing?

    We estimate the cost to be about $150 USD per pool of 5-25+ people (~$6 per student in a pool of 25).

  • How do I sign up?

    To bring our testing service to your school, sign up here.

  • Are there any controls to avoid false negatives?

    We have multiple controls in the test process: RNA extraction controls, high and low positive controls using spiked in virus, negative controls, and rt-PCR controls.

  • What is pooled classroom testing?

    Classroom pooling is a testing method where lower nasal swabs from everyone in a class are mixed together and tested with a single molecular test. This gives schools and districts population-level data to make informed public health decisions at a fraction of the cost of individual testing plans.

From Our Blog

What Parents at Ginkgo Have To Say About Pooled Testing

Our employees share their concerns, hopes, and advice for other parents

March 01 2021
How To Find Federal Funding for Classroom Testing

What school districts need to know about ESSER II and other funding sources

February 24 2021
Can Existing COVID-19 Tests Detect New Variants?

When it comes to both tests and vaccines, there’s a lot of cause for optimism.

February 22 2021