“By using our Pooled Testing, we can now help employers, schools, and other large groups get rapid COVID testing with 95% sensitivity rates,” says Rob Wright, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer for World Back to Work. “But an even bigger benefit is that we can provide this testing at a fraction of the price; employers don’t have to sacrifice reliability for cost. Our Pooled Testing option can be as much as 75% less than traditional PCR testing, making it far more accessible. With 24-hour lab turnaround times, our Pooled Testing helps prevent continued spread that can occur with tests requiring longer processing times for results.”
“It’s well documented in the scientific community that RT-PCR testing is the “Gold Standard” for detecting the COVID virus,” says Kyle Koeppler, WBTW’s Co-Founder and Practice Head of Medical Services. “It is more sensitive and specific than the lower-cost Point of Care testing platforms. The majority of PCR COVID tests, by their own manufacturer guidelines, are not meant to be used as a screening device, but only to confirm that someone who is symptomatic has COVID. They allow little protection for employees or students/staff returning to school and work. WBTW’s Rapid Pooled Testing provides the accuracy of PCR testing, at reduced costs.”
What is Pooled Testing?
As with traditional Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing, Pooled Testing begins with collecting specimens from each person and storing those samples individually. Upon arrival at the lab, the specimens are prepared for processing by combining the specimens into ‘Pools’ of individuals previously determined by the ordering entity. The ‘Pools’ are then processed in one continuous run to determine if anyone, or multiple people in that Pool are positive, or if the entire Pool is negative. It is a highly efficient and cost-effective way to test large groups without running costly individual tests.
Negative vs. Positive Test Results
If a Pooled test result is negative, then all specimens in the pool are presumed negative with just the single test. These individuals are considered testing negative for the COVID-19 infection and cleared to return to work, school, and the community.
If a Pooled test comes back positive, then one or more specimens in the batch indicate infection with the COVID-19 virus. At that point, there are two options:
- Quarantine. All members of the Positive Test Pool quarantine. Those individuals can resume work or rejoin the community ONLY after quarantining and retesting until they have a negative test result; or
- Retest. Because individual specimens from the pooled group are still in the laboratory, it is possible to quickly reflex (retest) each of the samples from the pool separately to determine precisely which individual(s) test positive. In this instance, the school, company, or entity can quickly act with all the members of the ‘affected’ pool to quarantine, contact trace, and sanitize the environment. Reflexing immediately is extremely beneficial because reflex testing can be expedited, with results within 4-6 hours of the original Pooled test.
Pooled Testing Scenario
In one example, a business with 1,000 employees groups its people into “Pods” of 5 to manage traffic, protect departments, front line workers, and the ability to quarantine members of a Pod if someone in the group tests positive.
“ALL 1,000 employees (in pods of 5) would be tested with a Pooled testing strategy, totaling 200 tests. At a 5% prevalence rate, suggesting 50 people are positive, the most retesting to be done would be 50 pools of 5. In the end, ALL 1,000 employees would test using only 450 tests, which is less than half of traditional, individual PCR testing. The overall reduction in tests per 1,000 is also greatly reduced when community prevalence is lower, and/or multiple members test positive in one pool,” adds Koeppler.
This example shows how cost-effective Pooled Testing can be and vastly changes the scale of what’s possible for our communities and businesses. “It saves time, resources, and costs by reducing the test load.”
“WBTW’s network of diagnostic laboratories provides added assurance of EUA & FDA authorization and CLIA Certification, which, in the future, will allow us to expand our SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid diagnostic and screening testing capacity for new services.”
About World Back to Work
World Back to Work (WBTW) is a mission-based company helping employers with return-to-work and safe-at-work strategies during the COVID-era and beyond. WBTW understands that rapid Return to Work(RTW) goals need multiple resources and that WBTW can’t provide this alone. Our cross-disciplinary team has created a free “Partner’s Playbook” for global distribution to service providers worldwide to help them plan their client’s roadmap for their rapid RTW deployment. By partnering with WBTW, they can provide additional consulting, software, and services needed to reopen the planet www.worldbacktowork.com.
Chantal Le Claire
800-928-9303 x 126
SOURCE World Back to Work