Sonora Quest Laboratories K-12 COVID-19 Pooled Testing
The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Education are bringing pooled testing to K-12 classrooms in partnership with Sonora Quest Laboratories and Concentric by Ginkgo. This state-sponsored program supported entirely by federal CDC funds will enable voluntary COVID-19 testing to help keep classrooms open at no cost to schools. Arizona received approximately $219 million to “detect, diagnose, trace and monitor COVID-19 and prevent its spread” in schools.
As school districts across the country work hard to reopen and vaccination rates increase among young adults, regular testing remains critical for supporting students, teachers, and staff by providing a predictable environment for learning. Pooled classroom testing is a simple and scalable way to test many people at once.
Students—who have been given permission to participate by their guardians—combine their nasal swabs (think: cotton swab) into one tube. Adults, such as teachers or other school administrators, can also combine their sample in the same tube. All of these samples are then run as a single test, minimizing the use of resources in the classroom and at the lab.
Concentric by Ginkgo’s pooled testing program, which is used by schools in hundreds of communities across the country, including Phoenix’s Madison school district, will be straightforward for schools across the state to implement and obtain parental consent. Ginkgo will provide all the training and testing materials necessary, as well as staffing, data processing, and lab services through its partnership with Sonora Quest Laboratories. Students, teachers, nurses, and school administrators alike have described the testing process as “simple and painless.” This comprehensive program will include molecular pooled testing, as well as individual molecular testing for follow-up.
If you would like to see pooled COVID-19 testing brought to your school, share these websites with your principal: SonoraQuest.com/PooledTesting and https://www.concentricbyginkgo.com/. If you have any questions, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Services website where you can learn more about this program.
All Sonora Quest COVID-19 testing has been authorized by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
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