Asymptomatic Pooled COVID Testing Consent
August 31, 2021
Thank you for your continued partnership as we navigate COVID in school. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have been again working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to implement a free COVID-19 pooled testing program for students and staff at our school.
The purpose of this letter is to ask for your consent to test your child in school. As it did last year, pooled testing involves mixing 10 individuals’ test samples together into one “pool” and then testing the pooled sample for COVID-19. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested at one time and allows us to regularly test our school community for COVID-19.
The pooled tests will be performed weekly with a shallow nasal swab for all participating students and staff members. Students in grades 2 through 12 will self-swab. Grade one students and younger will be swabbed by a nurse. Schools will receive the pool results within 24-48 hours. If the result of the pool is negative, then all individuals are presumed to not have COVID-19. If the result of the pool is positive, then all individuals in the pool must be retested individually. Because pooled testing does not give individual results, you will only be individually notified if your child requires follow-up testing. Additional information is noted below on the following documents:
We will begin weekly testing on September 7, 2021. To give permission for your student to participate in the COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program at our school, please complete this form by Thursday, September 2, 2021. Please complete the form for each child in your family. Consent this year is directly between parents and CIC Health.
Unfortunately, they have not yet been able to link the students who attend in the Ripley building. We will send notice to those families as soon as that problem is resolved.
We urge you to participate in pooled testing as another mitigation strategy for our school community. Testing is appropriate for all students including those who are vaccinated. This will provide important information as to the prevalence of both initial and breakthrough cases in the school. We are extremely grateful to our committed staff and families that continue to collaborate with us. It takes all of us working together to contain the spread of this virus.
The school nurses are able to answer your questions if you have them.