Humboldt County, Calif. (KIEM) – Pool testing is essentially a type of surveillance testing that allows researchers to test large populations.
Public Health officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich says large commercial labs have recently been looking at pool testing as an option.
The way it works is a small group of roughly five people get tested, their tests are combined and if all tests come back negative then researchers have a better idea of the spread in that community.
If it’s positive, then every sample needs to be retested to verify who the positive was.
Dr. Frankovich says this type of testing was initially a theoretical mechanism given that it was not yet FDA approved.
She adds that pool testing does not have the utility Humboldt County needs right now.
“Right now because we have the fastest turnaround time,” Frankovich said. “We are specifically funneling samples into our laboratory that are more likely to be positive.”
She adds that as Humboldt County’s capacity changes internally, it may be useful.