NYA campus from above

Pooled Testing Info and Consent Form


August 10, 2021

Dear Families:

North Yarmouth Academy is pleased to be providing pooled COVID-19 tests weekly for all staff and for students in grades K-PG in the upcoming school year at no cost. Pooled testing allows for almost real-time assessment of our school community’s risk related to COVID. In addition, the pooled testing will allow for reduced quarantine restrictions for “close contacts” as we will be able to perform serial individual testing (i.e. testing on individuals for several consecutive days). NYA will be administering tests on Thursday mornings and our Health Office will receive results of the pooled testing over the weekend. If a positive result is produced from a pooled test, all persons in that pool will be notified and will be given individual diagnostic Binax Now “follow up testing” beginning on Monday morning at NYA to determine individual results.

Please read the information below, then complete, sign, and return the consent form by August 16, 2021.

COVID-19 Testing Consent

Concentric by Ginkgo, a service provided by Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. (“Concentric”), is providing COVID-19 testing programs in the form of “pooled testing” and/or “diagnostic tests” to schools and organizations (a “Program”). The pooled tests offered through a Program were validated using FDA recommendations. It shows if anyone in a “pool” is sick. However, the test does not show specifically who is sick. Diagnostic tests show if a particular individual is sick. The diagnostic tests offered through a program are FDA-authorized and include rapid antigen tests and PCR/molecular tests.

Each participant must read and sign this form. If the participant is a under the age of 18 (“Minor”), a parent or legal guardian must read and sign this form on behalf of the Minor.

Key highlights of the consent are:

·         Like most COVID-19 tests, neither the pooled nor diagnostic tests used in this program are FDA-approved. (Note: The word “approved” means a very specific thing in the eyes of the FDA. As of early 2021, no COVID-19 tests have been approved by the FDA.)

·         Pooled tests do not provide individual results for each person in a pool. However, if a positive result is produced from a pooled test, all persons in that pool will be notified.

·         Individual diagnostic tests may be used as “follow-up tests” if a pooled test produces a positive result. NYA will be using Binax Now tests for all participants of the positive pool. Binax Now tests are FDA authorized under an emergency use authorization.

·         Potential risks from collecting a sample include slight discomfort

Please carefully read, then sign the consent form, and return to: North Yarmouth Academy/Ashley Moody, 148 Main Street, Yarmouth, ME 04096. 

Thank you,

Ashley Moody
Health Services Coordinator