In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have been working closely with the Maine Department of Education to begin implementing a free COVID-19 pooled testing program for students for the remainder of the school year. The intent of this letter is to explain pooled testing, answer questions you may have, and to ask your permission to regularly test your child.

Pooled testing is the collection of several individuals’ test swabs together into one pool and then testing the sample for COVID-19. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested at one time and allows for regular testing within the school community. Pooled testing will be performed once per week, using a shallow nasal self-swab for all participating students. The school 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 pool returns a positive result, all individuals in the pool will be retested using the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test. Parents will be notified if your child requires follow up testing. Individuals with no symptoms and a negative rapid test will no longer be required to quarantine for school based activities. The Whiting School Department will report all follow up test results to the Maine CDC’s Redcap reporting system.

To allow your child to participate in the COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program, including consent to pool test, consent for any necessary follow up Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen tests, and consent to share test result information with the Maine CDC, please use the below link and the school specific code ZAAS95 to sign the consent electronically or complete the attached consent and return to your child’s school.

Electronic Consent link: