COVID-19 POOLED TESTING

We are very excited to share that our district has been accepted into the Covid-19 Pooled Testing Program and will begin Covid-19 Testing at our schools the week of March 1st. It is another tool to help to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our school community. See below for more information and registration.

SIGN UP ANYTIME! 

We hope that you will consider your child being a part of this program!

For additional help, Project Beacon has created an FAQ for Parents for K-12 Pooled Testing,

or contact Leah Zippin at zippinl@monsonschools.com.

What is Pooled Testing?


In pooled testing, swabs from “pools” of 10 people are mixed together and tested. If the pool is negative, then all individuals in that pool are ‘clear’ and may continue to attend classes or their work at the school. If the pool is flagged as positive, then we know that there is at least one individual in that group who is positive for COVID-19. That positive pool will be individually retested using the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid test to determine who is actually positive for COVID-19.




Why are we Pool Testing?


The goal of regular COVID-19 testing in schools is to quickly identify cases before they become outbreaks. When used alongside other mitigation strategies, like distancing and face masks, testing creates an additional level of reassurance that it is safe to keep schools open with students and teachers in the classroom in person.




How often will my child(ren) be tested?


Pool tests will be conducted once per week. Parents will be notified if their child’s pool tests positive and will also be notified of the follow-up rapid test results.




How is the test performed?


The pooled test is performed via an anterior nasal swab (“short swab”) that is quick, easy, and painless to administer. This is a gentle, lower-nostril swab – it is not the deep brain-poking swab. Swabbing is quick! It only takes a few seconds per student. Students grade 1 and below and some students with disabilities will have their noses swabbed by a trained staff member. Adults and students grade 2 and above can swab their own noses under observation by a trained staff member. Watch the short video below to get a better understanding:

How to do a nasal swab by a 2nd grader:
https://youtu.be/fJML8xBEKGk




How do I sign up my child(ren)?


To be included in the Pooled Testing Program, your student(s) must have a profile created in Project Beacon. As part of the registration process, you will need to sign the necessary consent forms.
In addition, we are also going to use the BinaxNOW antigen tests for symptomatic testing of students who appear sick during the school day. As this is a separate process, we require a separate consent form be signed. To register your student for both programs, you will need to create two profiles in order to sign the separate consent forms.
Here are instructions to get your child set up on the Project Beacon platform.
Note: If you already have a Project Beacon account (for the public test sites or any other site) please go to www.beacontesting.com and log out of it now. If you click the link below while already logged in, you will get an error message.
When you click each link below, you will be prompted to create a Project Beacon account, or log in if you already have one. This link automatically adds your child to the appropriate Testing Program. Remember, each link is for a different program and you will have to create two profiles to consent to both of the programs.

If you are creating a new account, enter your email or phone number and then follow instructions to verify. Once you’re verified and logged in, you’ll be prompted to create a Profile.
Please note: The Profile should be for your student. If you find yourself typing in your own
name or birthday, this is incorrect.





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