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K-12 and Child Care Testing
COVID-19 testing programs are a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep schools and child care facilities open for in-person instruction and care. Testing helps find people who have the virus quickly before it can spread to others. VDH also strongly recommends all individuals who are eligible get vaccinated against COVID-19
For general COVID-19 and public health guidance for schools and child care, please visit the K-12 Education and Childcare Guidance Webpage.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH), in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), offers testing resources for schools and child care facilities through July 2023. These programs are funded by the CDC ELC Reopening Schools Award.
VDH provides all K-12 schools across the Commonwealth with free access to screening testing and at-home diagnostic test kits.
During the 2022-2023 school year, VDH has successfully provided COVID-19 testing support to 77% of public school divisions across the Commonwealth (101 public school divisions), as well as 70 private schools and 2 independent schools. (Updated 12/12/2022)
As of April 18, 2023, all eMed-proctored BinaxNOW Antigen At-Home test kits provided by VDH to K-12 schools have expired. Please do not dispose of the test kits down a sewer drain. Unused test kits should be placed in a trash bag and disposed of in the regular trash.
VDH offers rapid antigen testing of those with COVID-19 symptoms or a known exposure, to find out quickly if they have COVID-19 or not.
- Schools can request at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits to distribute to students, teachers, and staff. The tests use a nasal swab and provide a result in 15 minutes.
- The test kits can be used whether or not someone is vaccinated against COVID-19. Schools can request test kits even if they are not participating in ViSSTA screening testing.
- Schools may choose to 1) send the test kits home with families to conduct testing at home, or 2) conduct testing on site if they have the resources to do so.
Beginning at the end of March 2023, VDH will begin to distribute Quidel Quickvue At-Home OTC COVID-19 test kits to our K-12 school partners. Please review the Emergency Use Agreement and Instructions for Use prior to receiving the test kits. These test kits:
- Contain 2 tests per kit
- Do not require the use of a telehealth proctor
- Results may be read in 10-15 minutes
- An adult will need to collect the sample for testers aged 2-14. Testers aged 14 and older may self-collect
- Requires the use of a CLIA Certificate of Waiver if testing on site
- Results will need to be reported to VDH through the POC portal if testing is done on site
- Please check the lot number and original expiration date on the test kit you received and reference this document from the FDA that lists the new expiration dates: Quidel QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test - Shelf Life Extension
- On February 16th, the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Team held an informational session sharing an update about the type of COVID-19 test kit that will be provided in Spring 2023. The recording and slide deck of the session may be viewed below.
To request test kits for your K-12 schools, contact your K-12 Coordinator or email firstname.lastname@example.org. School divisions and schools that receive test kits from VDH are responsible for reporting on the number of tests distributed to the VDH team weekly through a REDCap survey.
The Virginia School Screening Testing for Assurance (ViSSTA) program offers PCR screening testing for those without COVID-19 symptoms or a known exposure, to help stop the spread before people become sick. ViSSTA provides vendors, supplies, and staffing for an end-to-end COVID-19 testing experience. Vendors take care of collecting samples, sending them to the lab, and communicating the test results.
Schools can request routine (such as weekly) testing for special groups of students, like sports teams, or for all students, staff, and/or teachers who want to participate.
Special Event Testing
Schools can request testing events for special events, large gatherings, or after a holiday, such as after summer break or before graduation.
- School-based staff to support planning and implementation of testing programs.
- Technology and supplies: funding for supplies utilized to implement the testing program, including technology resources and infrastructure.
- Portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan(s) or filtration system(s) or other small items that allow for improved air circulation, including replacement filters.
- Costs associated with minor or major construction are not allowable for reimbursement under CDC grant guidance.
Child Care Testing
VDH is providing at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits to child care facilities through their local health districts. Child care facilities may distribute test kits to be sent home with students (age 2+), staff, and parents to have on hand if they need to consider testing.
For child care facilities interested in receiving test kits, please reach out to your local health district.
At-Home Antigen Test Kit Information
VDH is providing Orasure InteliSwab COVID-19 at-home rapid antigen test kits to local health departments to distribute to child care facilities. These tests may only be used for individuals 2 years of age and older.
- Contains 2 tests per kit
- An over the counter (OTC) test that does not use a telehealth proctor
- Results may be read in 30 minutes.
- An adult will need to collect the sample for testers aged 2-18. Testers aged 18 years and older may self-collect.
- Please refer to the Instructions for Use and Emergency Use Authorization for more information
- For more information on expiration dates please refer to the InteliSwab COVID-19 Rapid Test 9-month to 12-month shelf life extension document
- Child care facilities will need to obtain a CLIA waiver in order to perform testing on-site with OraSure InteliSwab Kits. Facilities distributing test kits for at-home use do not need a CLIA Waiver.
- How to obtain a CLIA Waiver:Document on how to obtain a certificate of waiver
- CMS quick start guide to help complete the form
- Submit form CMS-116 to: Virginia Department of Health Office of Licensure and Certification 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 401, Richmond, Virginia 23233
Resources for K-12 Schools and Child Care Facilities
VDH recommends sending test kits home with parents/guardians for at home testing. However, schools and child care facilities may choose to test onsite if they have the resources to do so. Sample Consent forms for teachers, staff, and students for on site testing can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
At-Home Rapid Antigen Test Kits for Schools and Child Care Facilities
|BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test||Quidel Quick Vue At-Home OTC Test|
|Type of Test||Rapid At-home Antigen||Rapid At-home Antigen|
|Tests Per Box||1 Test||2 Tests|
|Sample Collection||Anterior nasal (self-collection for 15 years and up)||Anterior nasal (self-collection for 14 years and up)|
|Result Time||15-30 minutes||10-15 minutes|
|Virtual Telehealth Proctor||Yes||No|
|Minimum Age for Testing||2 Years||2 Years|
|CLIA Waiver||Not needed due to having the telehealth proctor service||Needed if facility performs test on site|
|Reporting to VDH through POC Portal||Not needed due to having the telehealth proctor service||Needed if facility performs test on site|
Program Contact Information
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