About the Broad Institute

The Broad Institute will provide all laboratory testing for samples collected. The Broad Institute utilizes the CRSP SARS-CoV-2 Real-time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Assay. This is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs collected from individuals who may have contracted the virus. Results are expected to be returned within 24 hours of sample delivery at the Broad. 


About Routine COVID-19 Checks (Mass K-12)

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) introduced COVID-19 screening testing using a pooled testing approach in the school setting as an additional mitigation strategy for SARS-CoV-2. Pooled testing involves mixing several test samples together in a “batch” or “pool” and then testing the pooled sample with a PCR test for detection of SARS-CoV-2 . Pooled testing will be administered at school either by trained school staff, including school nurses, or onsite test specimen collectors. For more program information, see here. 


For staff and for students in grades 2 and up, the test will be conducted by self-administration. Testing for all consenting students and staff members must take place once per week with an anterior nasal swab. Collected specimens are delivered to approved laboratories via same-day delivery, and results are returned within 24-48 hours. 

For most schools participating in the program, the pooled testing program will consist of up to four steps to confirm positive cases. 


BROAD Institute: How to collect a Nasal Swab


Routine COVID Checks + Reflex Testing Process

  • Step 1: Administration of nasal swabs for students and staff

  • Step 2: If a negative result, no action is taken. If a positive results is in the pool samples, a REFLEX test is performed for all individuals in the pool using the Abbott BinaxNow Rapid Antigen Test

  • Step 3: If a positive result is received from the initial reflex test, then unvaccinated individual(s) will isolate and close contact(s) will quarantine, according to DESE protocols.
    If a negative result is received for all individuals, they can remain in school. WPS will conduct another series of Abbott BinaxNow Rapid Antigen Tests the following day.



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