September 14, 2021
RE: COVID-19 Pooled Testing and COVID-19 In
Dear Brunswick Staff, Students, and Families,
Pooled Testing Update
To support our efforts to maintain a healthy and safe learning environment, I am happy to announce that Brunswick School Department has partnered with Concentric by Ginkgo to implement Pooled COVID-19 Testing in grades PreK-6. This testing is optional and free. We have focused testing on grade levels in which no students have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. The program may expand to other grade levels and/or co-curricular groups in the future.
Pooled Testing is a system in which groups of students--usually classes--self-swab their lower nasal cavities on a certain day of the week. All swabs from the group are combined into one specimen, which is sent to a central testing facility. The schools are notified in 48 hours whether any specimen is positive. Individuals in the identified group are then re-tested. Those in the group who re-test negative do not have to quarantine.
The consent for the Pooled testing form will be sent out shortly, and it is my hope high participation among staff and students will help keep everyone from unnecessary quarantines when they are not sick. So stay tuned - for more information.
Please also continue to use the COVID-19 Pre-Screening Tool found here.
If your child has been sick or felt unwell regardless of fever and you have been advised your child be tested for COVID-19, your child may return to school after you have received a NEGATIVE test result. In alignment with Maine CDC, Brunswick School Department does not accept "Home" COVID-19 Test results.
The Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus that causes COVID-19. If you have not yet received a vaccination, please consider doing so. The vaccines continue to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus that cause COVID-19, including this variant. Vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, including against this variant. Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from this variant appear to be infectious for a shorter period. Get vaccinated and wear masks indoors in public spaces to reduce the spread of this variant.
Here in Brunswick, the Mid Coast Vaccine Clinic has re-opened at 81 Medical Center Drive, Brunswick, from 3- 5 PM. Walk-in for first, second, or third shots. When boosters are approved, they will require appointments. All details can be found online at: www.midcoasthealth.com/vaccine
Please continue to visit our website and your school’s website for the latest information on district news.
Phillip J. Potenziano, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools