How do I perform a pooled test?

Project Beacon’s Pooling workflow allows walk-up visits, so students and staff are not required to schedule appointments.

  • In this program, you can have up to ten (10!) samples in one tube. One sample is one person.
  • Barcodes are found on the pooled test tube label
  • Scanners are completely optional, but recommended. We use the ScanAvenger 9100 series.
  • At the end of the day, you’ll send your orders to the lab, which lets them know how many tubes and samples to expect from you.
  • The DPH recommends that students in grades 2 and above and all staff are able to safely self-administer swabs for pooled PCR tests. 
    • All self-administered tests should be observed by a trained staff member. 
    • School districts must provide accommodations and supports necessary to enable students with disabilities in grades 2 and above to safely self-administer swabs for pooled PCR tests. 
    • In addition, districts must use properly trained personnel to administer swabs for students with disabilities in grade 2 and above unable to safely self-administer swabs. 
    • At this time, individuals may not self-administer BinaxNOW tests. These must be conducted by a trained staff member.

You will need to first navigate to your admin window to select the appropriate testing site

  • Depending on whether you use us for  symptomatic BinaxNOW testing, you may have either three or four test sites.
  • Your “Organization” is for managing the roster and consent forms for your student and staff. Your “Test Sites” are for administering tests!

Next, you'll need to identify the test takers who will be included in your pool. You will be selecting them one at a time.

  • Choose someone to be tested from the All Personnel list, and click Check In. As a reminder, you will have needed to register individual test takers for them to be eligible for this step.
  • Once you find the test taker (either in your screen or through the search bar), select the Check In button to get started. The parent or account holder will get an email or text notifying them that a test is beginning.

You can either check in and swab individual test takers immediately (one step) or check in your test takers and complete the test later (two step) 

  • The system will automatically tell you if >10 test takers have been checked in under the same pooled testing barcode number
One Step Process:
  • In this process, you will be checking in the patient and scanning or entering the barcode information together. You will immediately swab and complete the test using the system.
  • Enter/scan the barcode
  • Hand the test taker a tissue and ask they blow their nose vigorously.
  • Provide a squirt of hand sanitizer.
  • Rip the back portion of the swab, allowing the test taker to pull the wooden tip out.
  • Instruct the test taker to swab the inside of each nostril 3 times.
  • Collect the swab, swab side down in the collection tube
  • Click Mark as Complete
Two-step process:
  • This process is useful if you are checking people in and complete them later (e.g., checking them in at a table and testing at a location some distance away)
  • When selecting your patient from All Personnel, click Check in and Complete Later. This will add test takers to the appointments page

  • Active test takers are added to the top section under the Appointments area
  • Click Complete and enter or scan your barcode information
  • Hand the test taker a tissue and ask they blow their nose vigorously.
  • Provide a squirt of hand sanitizer.
  • Rip the back portion of the swab, allowing the test taker to pull the wooden tip out.
  • Instruct the test taker to swab the inside of each nostril 3 times.
  • Collect the swab, swab side down in the collection tube

Complete this process up to 10 times!

  • Please do not overly tighten the tube lids
  • Think strategically about who should be in individual pools (e.g., testing all teachers from a one grade at the same time could cause all teachers to miss class if there is a positive pool)
  • Be sure to indicate how many test tubes are included in your end of day manifest. This will be different than the number of swabs.

Close and end the testing session

  • You will need to send your completed pools off to the lab (both in our system and via the courier)
  • Navigate to the Pools tab. This tab will show the status of each tube you've scanned.
  • You can close each testing tube individually (clicking Close and Send under lab status on each line) or in bulk at the end of the day (clicking Close & Send in the Pooling Dashboard).