COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program

HPS will be offering a free COVID-19 pooled testing program for students and staff at our schools.   

By working together to test every student and staff member who opt into the program each week, we will keep our entire school community safer.  Positive cases will be identified more quickly, which will reduce any potential spread of COVID-19 in our schools.  We have been collaborating with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and are delighted to join other school districts throughout the state that offer this program. Opting into this pooled testing program also allows us to test your child if they become symptomatic

Families and Staff, read about this free COVID-19 testing program and how to OPT IN BELOW.

About the Testing

The pooled tests will be performed weekly with a shallow nasal swab for all participating students and staff members. 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 at school using the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test. This test would be performed by your child’s school nurse using a nasal swab. 
  • Since pooled testing does not give individual results, you will only be notified if your child requires this follow-up testing. 

Additionally, the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test is also available at your child’s school to test students and staff who show symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  

If you haven’t done so already, please opt in to the Free Pooled Testing Program.  

Families, Complete this Student Form for each student in your household if you give consent for the free testing program.  By opting into this program you are giving consent for your child to:  

  • be regularly tested as part of a free COVID-19 pooled testing program at school, and
  • use the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid diagnostic test if your child exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while in school.  

 

Staff, Complete this Staff Form to register for the free testing program today!  By opting into this program, you are giving consent to:  

  • be regularly tested as part of a free COVID-19 pooled testing program at school, and
  • use the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid diagnostic test if you exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while in school.  

The intent of pool testing is to identify infected individuals before they develop symptoms or to identify infected individuals who may not develop symptoms, so that measures can be taken to prevent further spread.  

Working Together to Contain the Spread

We are extremely grateful to our committed staff and families that continue to show great flexibility and resilience as we navigate through this school year.  It takes all of us working together to contain the spread of this virus.  The Holyoke Public Schools are excited to add pooled testing as another mitigation strategy for our school community, as we continue to work to work together toward the safe return of all students and staff to school.  Pooled testing becomes even more important as more students and staff return to school.

Questions? 

Check out the FAQS:

For more information, visit the Project Beacon website.

If you have questions regarding the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test or COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program please reach out to your school nurse.

Additional Questions?

Contact: Alessandra Graziani, Coordinator of Student Services
Google Voice 413-224-8411
agraziani@hps.holyoke.ma.us

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