How does pool testing work? 

Pool testing involves mixing swab samples in batches of ten, and testing the whole batch at once. If the batch comes back negative, we know that all ten samples are negative. Essentially, ten individual tests are completed using the same amount of time and resources as a single ordinary RT-PCR test. Laboratories are therefore able to test large amounts of people with relative ease. 

What happens if the test comes back positive? 

Samples are processed individually only if the batch produces a positive test. 

We then retest each of the ten samples within the batch, to identify which members of the batch are positive. When this happens, this will involve an extra round of testing.  As the additional round of testing only occurs when a batch comes positive, it remains a very efficient option for the majority of workplaces. Our Account Managers will work with you to determine whether Pool Testing is a good option for your workplace. 

Does this affect the accuracy of the test?

Simply put, no. Our UKAS accredited ISO labs have done research into this process and have validated that it is highly accurate even though the concentration of virus is lower than in a one-to-one test. Not only that, but pool testing has been assessed and validated across the world. 

Where false results are produced, these are typically due to poor sample collection or poor handling when being processed in a laboratory. At Covid Testing Network, our laboratories work to the highest standard and we recommend testing is conducted with an Occupational Health specialist to ensure the samples are of the highest standard.


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