Nasal Swab Test
What is pooling or pooled testing?
Pooling samples involves combining several, usually 5-10 individual samples together into a single collection device, therefore, creating a “pool”. In traditional pooling, this is done at a testing site. Pools are then tested as a single sample in the lab.
This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested using the same amount of resources.
How many are included in each pool?
Each pool consists of samples from 5 to 10 individuals depending on multiple factors.
Why should we pool samples instead of testing individually?
Pooling dramatically reduces the cost of testing without sacrificing accuracy and increases the scale of testing for screening needs.
How is Veritas' pooling method different from most?
In traditional pooling, individual samples are taken and then combined into a pool at the testing site. In Veritas’ case, each individual provides their sample. Multiple samples are then combined into a pool at our lab to achieve the same economies of scale and pass-through cost benefits.
By pooling at our lab, we take on the complexity of the logistics, management of samples, and reflex testing of any positive pools is faster and easier.
By having individual starting samples in case of a positive pool (reflex or follow-up) we do not need to go back and re-sample all of the individuals in the pool. This allows us to return results faster with the less administrative and logistical burden.
How quick are the results?
Using the pooling at the lab method allows Veritas to release pool results as well as individual results in positive pool reflex/followup on average in 24 hours from samples arriving at the lab.
How to get started?
Getting started with pooling is easy. Schedule a zoom with our team by clicking here and we will take you through easy steps to enroll participants and get you the supplies you need. In our experience, you can get started in just a few days from our initial meeting.
What are the steps to undertake before testing?
Before you start:
- Participate in a training and onboarding session with our team
- Enroll each individual through a simple link we provide
- Receive testing supplies
- Establish a testing date and frequency
How do we receive supplies?
In advance of testing, you will receive collection materials sufficient for one month of testing (or 4 cycles) including some extra devices.
Collection materials include:
- Barcoded saliva/nasal swab collection devices
- Return biohazard bags
These will be either shipped or couriered to you.
How often should schools test?
The CDC recommends that schools in areas with moderate community spread test at least once a week. For areas with higher rates of community spread, the CDC suggests considering testing twice a week.please check with CDC and state department’s of health for guidance on school pooled testing.
As part of NTAP Veritas is happy to provide you with best practices and shared experience from other schools and districts across the country which have successfully delayed pooled testing.
How to perform the sample collection?
Depending if you choose saliva or lower nasal swab option collection devices will be sent with easy steps to follow:
For saliva collection:
- Assemble the funnel on the tube
- Spit into the tube up to the fill line
- Remove & discard the funnel and close the tube with provided cap
- Write full name and DOB on the tube in the format (MM/DD/YYYY)
*Please advise testers not to eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes before collecting the saliva.
For nasal swab collection:
- Clearly write your full name (no nicknames) and DOB on the tube (MM/DD/YYYY)
- Swab each nostril
- Place the swab inside the tube and break the handle at the mark
- Close the cap tightly.
How will I receive results?
Administrators will receive access to our intuitive pooling portal for one or multiple institutions they oversee. Portal is organized to allow you to easily see negative and positive pools and the list of participants in the specific pool.
Portal allows easy download of results in excel format and allows sorting and search features. Roster of enrolled participants is also available for the administrators to track participation.
Are pooling results released to individuals?
No. In an effort to streamline pooling where the majority of results are expected to be negative, depending on the infection rates in your community, pooled results are only released to the administrator of the institution.
In case of a positive pool, each participant is tested individually (reflex or follow-up) and will receive an individual (not pooled) diagnostics report in our clinical portal.
Administrators are notified of diagnostic reports being released and can view the results in the positive pool, but individual pdf reports are only provided to the person who was tested. Ordering physician is assigned to each diagnostic test performed.
Other arrangements, as long as they are compliant with the HIPAA regulations, are possible, but the above described approach is generally adopted.
Is there customer support available?
Yes. Before you start we will provide you with training and onboarding by zoom. During testing you will have access to a dedicated team of experienced customer support agents to assist with any needs.
Can nasal swabs be collected at home and returned to school? From the time of collection, how long is the sample viable for? Does it need to be stored in a specific way if collected “early”?
Yes, nasal swabs can be collected at home and returned to school. All samples should be stored at room temperature (up to 6 days post collection) in the provided biohazard bag.
What PCR test does Veritas use?
The Veritas COVID molecular test is performed in our Danvers laboratory, which is CAP -accredited and certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. §263a, to perform high complexity tests. Results are intended for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from nasal swabs or saliva samples using sensitive NAAT technology, considered the gold standard of COVID diagnostic testing.
Nasal swabs are tested using Hologic’s EUA approved assay, Aptima® SARS-CoV-2. The Aptima® SARS-CoV-2 assay is a nucleic acid amplification test that combines the technologies of target capture, Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA), and Dual Kinetic Assay (DKA) to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
Saliva samples are tested using Yale’s EUA approved assay, SalivaDirect which is a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
Who will my results be shared with?
You and the physician who ordered your test will receive a copy of your results. We will also share your results with your state and/or local health department, as required by law. In some situations, your results may also be shared with your employer to keep our workplaces safe and healthy.
Who can access the list of students that participate in testing:
Only students with completed consent forms can participate in testing. Schools collect consent forms from families either using processes that already exist at their school or using our online platform. Once consents are collected, the testing team at a school will receive a roster of students whose legal guardians have given consent. This team may be composed of principals, health services staff, and teachers.
What happens to my specimen after Covid testing:
After the Covid test is performed, all samples are discarded or submitted to the state laboratory for sequencing. The state laboratory performs sequencing on positive specimens to type the variant related to SARS CoV-2 and for epidemiological purposes. These results are not shared with the patient but may be shared with health departments and agencies.
Does Veritas keep saliva samples after the pool testing has concluded and results have been reported?
No, Veritas stores samples on average for 7 business days from receipt and does not keep negative samples after the test results are reported. Positive samples may be stored for additional quality control testing and further testing, should the local or state Department of Health request the sample.