Whether you’re a superintendent, a teacher, or a parent—we’re here to help. Navigating the world of COVID-19 testing for your family is no easy task. We’re here to demystify it. Read below for answers to questions from parents and guardians.
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.
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.
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.
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).
We estimate the cost to be about $150 USD per pool of 5-25+ people (~$6 per student in a pool of 25).
To bring our testing service to your school, sign up here.
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.
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.