Fall 2021 Pooled Testing FAQ

How does pooled testing work?

Pooled testing involves mixing between two and ten test samples together in a “batch” or “pool” and then testing the pooled sample with a PCR test for detection of SARS-CoV-2. The pooled test was developed by and is performed at The Broad Institute.

How is the nasal swab performed?

The nasal swab for pooled testing is the same anterior nasal swab used in the Broad PCR test performed at the initial arrival test. You can read more about this here.

How long will it take for pooled testing results to come back?

Results are returned within 24 – 48 hours in your Garnet Gateway.

Pooled results will come back in one of four categories: negative, positive, invalid, or inconclusive. What does my pooled result mean?

Negative No traces of COVID-19 were detected from any member of the pool.  

Invalid or Inconclusive – A confirmatory result was unable to be obtained from the sample which could be a result of any number of conditions.  The Testing Center will reach out to you via email with further instructions.   

Positive – Traces of COVID-19 were found. The individuals in the pool will be notified and a Reflex test will be administered. 

How will I be notified of my pooled test result?

Negative You will receive an email indicating that you have a test result available to view in Garnet Gateway.

Invalid or Inconclusive – The Testing Center will reach out to you via email with further instructions.

   
Positive – The individuals in the pool will be notified by the Testing Center and a Reflex test will be administered. Those who were in the positive pool will be notified by phone with instructions on when and where reflex testing will occur.

What happens if my pooled result comes back positive?

The individuals in the pool will be notified by the Testing Center and a Reflex test will be administered. Those who were in the positive pool will be notified by phone with instructions on when and where reflex testing will occur.

What is Reflex Testing?

Reflex testing is a secondary test to identify a potential positive within a pool. Each individual in the pool will retest using the BinaxNow Rapid Antigen Test or a Broad individual PCR test. If your test comes back positive, you will be notified by the Testing Center via phone and will begin following isolation protocol.