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.