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What is COVID-19 pool testing and how accurate is it?

"Pool testing" combines samples from multiple people. It's then tested together for one "group" result.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is rolling out a new testing plan inside local schools.

They plan to do "pool testing" every week among unvaccinated staff. So what is that? And does it work?

Let's connect the dots.

"Pool testing" combines samples from multiple people. It's then tested together for one "group" result.

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If it's negative, the entire group is clear of COVID-19. But if it's positive, everyone would get tested individually.

If that's the case, CMS plans to offer rapid testing to everyone in the group to figure out who's positive.

Pool testing has a lot of advantages. The CDC says it's more efficient and cost-effective. It allows for more testing, while using less resources.

It also could pick up COVID-19 cases where people aren't showing any symptoms.

So this begs the question, how accurate can it really be? Turns out it's pretty accurate, as long as the group isn't too big. That could skew the results.

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