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Frequently Asked Questions

What is pooled testing and is it effective?

"Widescale pooled testing can be highly cost effective and time saving to potentially quickly identify positive cases, quarantine them, and contract trace from there forward to prevent further spread of disease in a community," Juthani, who also is an infectious disease specialist at Yale Medicine, told CNN.

What is the FDA's policy on testing using pooled samples?

The FDA is aware that there is a great interest in performing testing using pooled samples. Pooling samples involves mixing several samples together in a "batch" or pooled sample, then testing the pooled sample with a diagnostic test. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested using the same amount of resources.

What is pooled covid-19 testing?

Pooled testing allows for several COVID-19 samples to be tested at once, saving time and resources. It’s a strategy used to keep schools safe for in-person learning and will likely become a return-to-work safety measure. Pooled testing works well as a surveillance measure in populations where there’s a low prevalence of COVID-19.

How many diagnostic tests should be run on a pooled sample?

Now, one diagnostic test will be run on that pooled sample, instead of five diagnostic tests on five samples. "If the pooled sample is negative, it can be deduced that all patients were negative," Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, wrote last month.


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