• COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program 

     

    Pittsburgh Public Schools is committed to ensuring a safe and healthy school environment for all of our students and staff. In addition to requiring masking and social distancing, the District is partnering with Concentric by Ginkgo to begin a free and optional COVID-19 pool testing program.  The goal of the pool testing program is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our school community. The new pilot program will begin at two schools - Pittsburgh Concord PreK-5 and Pittsburgh Weil PreK-5 - on November 1, 2021.  

    Students with consent to participate in pool testing will swab the inside of their nose and place their swab into a test tube with other student swabs from their class. All classroom swabs will be submitted for one single COVID-19 test. Pooled tests do not provide individual results for each student in the pool.  Participation in the pool testing is 100% voluntary.  All participants must complete a consent form to participate. 

    Testing for COVID-19, along with the correct use of masks, physical distancing, vaccinations, contact tracing and quarantine, are key ways that the District is mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and keeping schools open.

    KidSwab

  • Why is the District doing pooled testing with students?

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    Pooled testing covers multiple students at once and is an efficient and effective way to monitor for potential outbreaks of COVID-19 within school communities. Since the tests are anonymous and collected in bulk, pooled testing can be completed in less than 15 minutes in one class and gets faster as students get used to the process.  Testing for COVID-19, along with the correct use of masks, physical distancing, vaccinations, contact tracing, and quarantine, are key ways the District is mitigating the spread of COVID-19.  

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  • How do I sign up my child to participate in the District's COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program?

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    The Pittsburgh Public Schools COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program will begin at Pittsburgh Concord PreK-5 and Pittsburgh Weil Prek-5 - November 1, 2021. Only students with signed consent may participate in pooled testing.  Click this link to enroll your child into their school and when prompted, enter the school-specific access code for that child listed below. 

    Pittsburgh Concord - YWO 446 

    Pittsburgh Weil - 3Z6 QCP

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  • How will pooled testing work?

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    As part of pooled testing, nasal swabs are collected from 5 to 25 asymptomatic students in a classroom and submitted for a single PCR test. Testing an entire class typically takes between 10-15 minutes and tends to speed up as students get used to the process. Students administer the nasal swab themselves and place the swabs in a large tube that is then tested by Concentric by GINKGO.   The testing process is easily administered to students in grades K-12.   

     

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  • When will I know my child's results?

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    Pooled tests do not provide individual results for each student in the pool.   A negative test result assumes no one in the class has COVID-19. In other words, no news is good news.  If the test is positive, students in the pool are then given individual rapid tests two (2) days after the pooled testing day. Those who test positive would then need to quarantine based on the date of their positive rapid test.   All test-takers in the pool will be notified of a positive test result.

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  • What happens if my child is absent for individual rapid testing following a positive pool test?

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    Students who are absent on the day of individual rapid testing following a positive pool test will need to get tested on their own before returning to school. 

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  • Is participation voluntary?

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    Yes! Only students with signed consent forms will participate on pooled testing day.  Consent forms are available in multiple languages from the school or digitally in English and Spanish.  Click this link to enroll your child into their school and when prompted, enter the school-specific access code for that child listed below. 

    Pittsburgh Concord - YWO 446 

    Pittsburgh Weil - 3Z6 QCP

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  • How often will students be tested?

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    Students will be pool tested each week.  If the test is positive, students in the pool are then given individual rapid tests two (2) days after the pooled testing day.

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  • How is the District paying for pooled testing?

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    The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), in partnership with Concentric by Ginkgo Bioworks (Ginkgo), is offering COVID-19 testing services at no cost to all K-12 Schools across the Commonwealth, with the exception of schools within Philadelphia county, for the entire 2021-2022 school year. 

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