Sitting at her school desk, a pony-tailed student at South Boston Catholic Academy in Boston inserted a swab into her nostril and swirled it around, performing a test for COVID-19 on herself on Thursday (January 28).
The students are conducting self-tests every other school day, and classrooms are kept separate from each other, so that there is no mixing among students.
Swabs collected in each classroom are “pooled” into a single sample that is sent to a lab to produce a single positive or negative result for the class.
Aimed at creating a logistically streamlined and more cost-effective way to test larger groups of people, the pilot program is being offered at no cost to K-12 schools across the U.S. by biotech company Ginkgo Bioworks.
If a classroom tests positive, all of the students in that classroom would be isolated, while students from other classes would be able to continue attending school.
(Production: Katharine Jackson)