Gargle Testing

What is COVID pool testing and what is its purpose?

Pooled surveillance screening is a method for the university to stay safe and open; by testing pools of individuals from members of the UConn community, we gain a better understanding of who needs to be tested further and how to keep us safe. The university’s pooled screening approach gathers samples from small groups of UConn students and screens these ‘pools’ to determine if SARS-COV2, the virus that leads to COVID, is prevalent.

It’s mostly random, but sometimes we will screen a particular set of students, a floor, or a shared living area more often as we want to identify and support asymptomatic individuals before an outbreak occurs.

Will I get results from this test, will I hear back afterwards?

The results of tests of these pooled samples are only for monitoring the prevalence of SARS-COV2 on campus and are not part of your medical record; we won’t report your results back to you directly.

If anyone in the pool is positive, clinical staff from Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) Services will contact you for a follow-up clinical test.

Is the test confidential?

The test is completely confidential and voluntary. As soon as your sample
gets to the lab, it will be combined with other samples; we will never process a sample for a single person nor have any identifying information for the person who gargled into the tube.

Each sample is destroyed immediately after screening for SARS-COV2. No other tests will be performed on the sample.

Student Health and Wellness will be the only group in this process that knows the individuals included in the test pool to protect individual identity.

What does the test contain?

The tube contains sterile 0.9% saline (salt water). It tastes a little bitter, not as salty as ocean water. The test is highly effective (can we add a stat here as to how effective it is?)

If the seal is broken on the test tube I receive, should I still gargle the water inside and complete it?

No; if the test tube seal is broken, please do not complete the test. If it is possible to get a new one, please do so.

How are people chosen for testing?

It’s mostly random, but sometimes we will test a particular set of people more often as we are searching for asymptomatic individuals. Pools are often pulled from the same floor/living area to gain an understanding of specific areas.