How "Dual Pooling" Testing Works

Tech's Asymptomatic Surveillance Testing Program relies on a dual pooling approach that combines samples from multiple individuals and tests them as a group. Dual pooling testing dramatically increases the number of community members that can be sampled with a single coronavirus test. 

Follow Your Sample

In the Lab
 

1. Your sample is split into two pools. 2. Each pool contains five different samples, which are placed in individual wells inside a small tray. 3. For a single test, there are six pools and 15 participants. Everyone's sample is uniquely in two of the pools. 4. The six pools, including your sample in two of the pools, are tested simultaneously in a PCR machine.


Notifications and Follow-Up Testing
 

Everyone who participates in surveillance testing will receive a notification that they are either recommended or not recommended for a follow-up diagnostic test. If neither of your pools comes back positive, you are not recommended for a follow-up test. No further action is required. If both of your pooled samples are positive, your original sample is then tested individually in the CLIA lab to confirm the sample has SARS-CoV-2. If one of your pools comes back positive but your other pool does not, you are not recommended for a follow-up test. No further action is required. If both of your pooled samples are positive, you are recommended for a follow-up test. Your original sample is tested individually in the CLIA lab to determine whether your sample contains the virus. Follow the next steps at health.gatech.edu/coronavirus/decision-tree.

Don’t let this pooled approach keep you from getting tested. Your sample will not be mistaken for someone else’s. Each person’s sample has a barcode, which is scanned, recorded, and tracked in a data management system.