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August 20, 2021

Colleagues, 

On Monday, August 16, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) announced that they had entered into an agreement with Concentric by Ginkgo Bioworks (Ginkgo) to provide a menu of COVID-19 testing services and supports at no cost to participating schools. Ginkgo will provide all necessary communication materials and consent forms for staff and parents/guardians of students to opt in to this free, voluntary testing program. At this time, the testing program is offering weekly pooled testing and on-demand individual diagnostic testing to participating K-12 schools across Pennsylvania. Again, there is no cost to schools who opt in to this program. 

Register for one of the webinars listed below via Gingko’s website

Monday, August 23, 11 a.m.
Tuesday, August 24, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, August 25, 2 p.m.
Thursday, August 26, 1 p.m. 

This free testing program can help keep classrooms open throughout the school year. Regular testing — which takes less than 10 minutes per classroom — can help schools safeguard staff and students as they return to full, in-person teaching and learning. 

This end-to-end testing program was designed to be easy for schools and fun for students. It includes: 

  • On-site clinical support on test days and administrative support to alleviate testing burden 
  • Courier logistics and lab processing through labs in Pennsylvania   
  • Easy to use customer support for the entirety of the program 
  • Fun, educational content for students including comics and stickers 

In order for a school to opt in to the DOH’s COVID-19 school testing program, school leaders must complete the Statement of Assurances (PDF) attached to this correspondence. Once completed and signed, please submit the Statement of Assurances form via email to: RA-DHK12COVIDTEST@pa.gov

Thank you for all of the work you’ve done and your ongoing efforts to keep children safe!