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The Gordon School

On-campus COVID testing

Dear families,

Gordon has been offering unvaccinated students free PCR testing on-campus this fall as part of our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The testing is offered through Operation Expanded Testing, a program supported and funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide free COVID-19 PCR testing to K-12 schools. 

Regular testing will help protect our students, staff, family members, and others who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or are otherwise at risk for getting seriously sick from COVID-19.

Through this program, we will be able to identify COVID-19 cases quicker and earlier, which can help us stop an outbreak before it happens. This will help us keep students in their classrooms and take part in the joyful learning happening on campus every day.

Operation Expanded Testing is designed with a team of highly skilled trainers who will guide Nurse Hoey on how to collect samples.

I hope that all Gordon families with unvaccinated children will choose to opt in to the testing program. Doing so will greatly support our efforts to keep our campus safe and open for in-person learning.

To opt into the program, please follow this link to register your child for testing. The registration process takes less than five minutes. If you would like a paper copy of the parental consent form, please contact Nurse Hoey at mhoey@gordonschool.org 

At this time, Gordon will only be offering this testing for students who are unvaccinated. Please do not set up an account for vaccinated children. As students become fully  vaccinated, Nurse Hoey has been able to track that information and pull those children out of the process.

Testing began in late September, with a rhythm of testing each unvaccinated student every two weeks, in accordance with the Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines. 

You can go online to view a short video guide on how to complete the registration, provide consent for testing, and activate your child’s online account to view test results.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the testing process, but please feel free to reach out to me or Nurse Hoey with any questions. 

Take care,

Noni


  
Frequently asked questions

Who will do the testing?
Nurse Hoey will manage the testing process and perform the swab collection for all students.
 

What type of test is being used?
The testing method uses pooling, which means that several tests are combined into a single specimen and that specimen is processed as one sample. This dramatically increases the ability to test large numbers of samples in a short time frame. 

Collections are done with what is called a lower anterior nasal swab, which is a collection swab about the size of a Q-tip that is placed just into the lower part of the nose and swirled around three times to collect the sample. This is the method Gordon used with the BINAX testing last year, and is much more comfortable than the collection method where the swab is placed deep into the nose. 

Two swabs will be taken from each child. One swab is placed in a single sample tube, and the second swab is placed in a pool tube with all of the other swabs from the same classroom. 

The swabs are sent to an offsite lab, and the pool samples are run first. If the “pool” result is negative, every child in the classroom is considered negative. If the pool results positive, the lab will then test every individual sample to determine who in the classroom is positive. Test results are returned within twenty-four to thirty-six hours after being sent to the lab.
 

How do I see my child’s results?
If your child is part of a pool that does not test positive for COVID-19, then you will not get an individual result, but Gordon will be notified that the pool sample was negative. If the pool sample is positive, then you will get a result posted in the Assure online platform, and you will get a notification about test result for your child's individual swab. You can set up your account preferences to send you a text message or an email when a new result is available, or you can log into the system periodically to check for results. Gordon will also, of course, be monitoring results for all students.

You can go online to view a short video guide on how to complete the registration, provide consent for testing, and activate your child’s online account to view test results.
 

Who has access to my child’s information?
The consent form indicates that test results can be shared with the school and appropriate federal oversight committees responsible for tracking and reporting COVID-19 cases. This includes Affinity Empowering and Eurofins Clinical Laboratory, as well as any other laboratories used to process samples. 

Affinity Empowering is a leading occupational health, population, and disease management life sciences organization that specializes in providing technology-based solutions and support for overall health and wellness endeavors. In addition to providing occupational health, mental health, and cutting edge, wrap around substance use support, the company also has partnered with Eurofins to become a major provider of COVID-19 testing. For more information, please visit https://www.affinitytesting.com 

The information that is shared is the minimal information required to identify your child's record with their test result. Affinity and the lab do not receive any medical information from other record; they only have access to the information that families provided to them for the purpose of testing. This is explained further in the consent form.
 

This sounds wonderful. One more time: what's the link to sign up?
To opt into the program, please follow this link to register your child for testing.

At this time, Gordon will only be offering this testing for students who are unvaccinated. Please do not set up an account for vaccinated children.