Frequently Asked Questions
A. Who is eligible?
Q. All Framingham Public School students Pre-K-12 attending school in person are eligible to participate in the pooled testing.
A. What is COVID-19 pooled testing?
Q. Pooled testing for COVID-19 is when several people’s specimens are tested in one batch, saving time and resources. It is an efficient and cost-effective way to detect COVID-19 in a school or class. If a pooled test result is negative, then all the people in the batch are negative. If the pooled test result is positive, it indicates that one or more individuals in the pool may be positive for COVID-19. The students in the positive pool will be administered an individual PCR test to determine who is positive for COVID-19.
A. How often will testing occur?
Q. Participating students will be tested every week they are attending school for in-person learning.
A. What type of collection method will be used?
Q. The collection method is a shallow, frontal nasal swab (not deep nasal swab). The swab is inserted no more than 1-2 cm into each nostril and rotated.
A. What happens when a "pool" of students test positive?
Q. If the pooled test result is positive, all individuals in the pool will be administered an individual PCR test as follow-up. Everyone in the positive pool will be asked to remain home until they have the result of the follow-up PCR test. The Framingham Board of Health will be notified of positive cases and follow the established protocols.
A. If someone tests positive, how far back does the contact tracing go?
Q. Following CDC and MADPH guidelines, contact tracing is done from 2 days before the first symptom or the positive test (whichever comes first).
A. How is my student’s privacy ensured?
Q. The state is using a technology platform/system that meets HIPAA/FERPA privacy protections. Samples will be used for COVID-19 testing only. Only approved school administrators will be able to view results.
A. Will students be required to participate in the pooled test process to attend school this year?
Q. No. Participation in the testing program is voluntary but strongly encouraged. Greater participation will allow the district to quickly identify positive cases, quarantine them and contact trace to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the school community.
A. Is there a cost to participate in the testing program?
Q. No, the program is free. Students will not have to pay any fees associated with either the pooled testing or subsequent follow-up testing required for individuals included in a positive pooled sample.
A. Should individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 be included in pooleds?
Q. Individuals who have previously tested positive in the past 90 days should not test. After 90 days, you can be included again in the pool.