COVID-19 POOLED TESTING IN THE HOPKINTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Maybe your child came home from school and announced that the teacher passed out the COVID-19 pooled testing kits to the people who are participating, and maybe you thought, “Gee, I wish I had signed up…” Well, you still can!
WHY POOLED TESTING?
We are hoping that all in-person students will register for testing because when everyone participates, the risk is mitigated for ALL. You can register at any time. Unfortunately, we are not testing remote students.
Because there may be some misconceptions about pooled testing, we ask that you read these truths very carefully:
If your child who does not have the virus is pooled with a COVID-19+ student, your child will not have to quarantine. While other companies require follow-up testing, JCM does not because the reflex testing is done right in the lab--and each swab is identified with an individual person.
Students do not miss time on learning to test; rather, kids actually swab at home either the night before or the morning when they are turning in their swabs.
Elementary students have new kits delivered right to their classrooms; secondary students pick up new kits when they drop off their used swabs for testing.
If you forget to bring in your swab--no worries. Once registered, a person can simply get right back into the testing cycle during the following week.
Essentially, pooled testing is a good way to identify asymptomatic carriers and reduce risk in the community. There is really no downside.
We know you want to be part of a plan that helps the whole community, and if you’ve already signed up to do so, THANK YOU. If you have not signed up, please follow these simple steps.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
Access the online consent form through your PowerSchool Parent Portal using these directions. The directions are very simple and will only take a few minutes! Once you’re registered, you’re in. You only need to register once.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
Ideally, samples should be collected the morning of the test (which will be every Tuesday) and brought to school with your child that morning. If you collect the sample the evening before, it must be refrigerated overnight. Students will be given a new pool test kit when they turn theirs in the morning of collection. Please either label the box that the kit came in, or the bag that contains the test kit with your student’s name.
Should your student forget their sample on the morning of collection, they will not be able to participate that day, but will be given a new pool test kit for the following week’s collection. If the test kit was used, please discard the used sample and use a new pool kit that will be provided to your student.
Due to the sensitivity of the PCR test, individuals who have previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 are not eligible to participate in pooled testing for 90 days from their positive test date. Once their 90 days have passed, they can register and participate in pool testing.
High School and Middle School students will drop their samples to the collectors on their way into the buildings. Please remind them that they will need the QR code either printed out, or on their phone in order to turn in their sample. Middle School students should now be able to access their accounts and obtain their QR codes. Collection times at both schools will be from 7:00 to 7:30AM.
Elementary School students will have samples collected in the classroom. Their QR codes will be stored at school. Again, please either label the box or the plastic collection bag with your child’s name. Collection time for Hopkins is between 8:00-8:50AM, and Elmwood and Marathon will be between 9:00-10:00AM.
Parents/Guardians of Students who test positive will be notified by the school when results become available.
For questions regarding Pool Testing, please reference the attached memo from JCM Analytics.
THANK YOU for taking the time to read through all of this information. It’s important that we work together to keep our schools safe. We hope you will sign up for pooled testing today, if you haven’t already!