Increasing Covid-19 pooled testing participation in the coming weeks is critical in order for our data to be as meaningful as possible. Please consider joining our pooled testing initiative in order for students and teachers to return to in-person learning. For students who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 90 days, we welcome them to join pooled testing after the 90-day period.
View: Latest CPS Covid-19 Pooled Testing Dashboard — May 6, 2021
What is Covid-19 Pooled Testing?
According to the FDA, “Pooling samples involves mixing several samples together in a “batch” or pooled sample, then testing the pooled sample with a diagnostic test. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested using the same amount of resources. Pooling samples involves mixing several samples together in a “batch” or pooled sample, then testing the pooled sample to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Up to ten (10) samples may be tested together, using only the resources for a single test. If every sample in the group is negative, the lab gives a single negative result. If one individual in a pool is positive, the pool will receive a positive result, and each participant will subsequently take an individual follow-up test.
This voluntary, free weekly COVID-19 testing program will help keep our students, staff and community safe and will help to prevent the spread of the virus. Regular COVID-19 testing of students and staff will help us lower the risk of the disease in our schools by finding and isolating individuals who would not otherwise know they were positive. The COVID-19 test is a nasal test that is self-administered by gently swabbing the lower inner nostril; it is quick, easy and painless. Students in grades 2-12 can easily self-administer the nasal swab. Trained staff may assist younger students as needed. Please consider joining our pooled testing initiative.
For students or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past ninety (90) days, we welcome them to participate AFTER the 90-day period. Those students or staff who have received a vaccine for COVID-19 are able to participate in pooled testing. Pooled testing is intended for individuals who are asymptomatic..meaning WITHOUT symptoms. If you are not feeling well, please check in with the school nurse. We continue to advise those who are not feeling well to please stay at home.
Learn more about how pooled testing at schools can help teachers and students get back to in-person learning more safely.
Pooled Testing Reminders:
- Consent Forms: Consent forms are accepted anytime. Chelmsford High School, McCarthy Middle School, South Row Elementary and Byam Elementary School will test on Mondays while Chelmsford Community Education, Parker Middle School, Center Elementary and Harrington Elementary School will test on Tuesdays. Please note that the lists are updated to add new participants for the following week on Wednesdays at 5 p.m.
- Wednesdays After 5: If your consent form was received after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, you will be added to the list of participants to begin pooled testing the following week.
- Communication of Positive Tests: You will receive notification if follow-up testing is required as a result of being part of a positive pool. In addition, correspondence will be sent out in the event of a delay in receiving results (if results are not received within the 24-48 hour window).
- Program Extension: The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has extended the date for the early launch of the state pooled testing initiative and will be covering the district’s costs for an additional three weeks. The original end date was Sunday, March 28, but the program has been extended through the remainder of the school year.
- Contact: For questions regarding the Covid-19 Pooled Testing Initiative at Chelmsford Public Schools, contact Peggy Gump, M.Ed., BSN, RN at: