Student COVID-19 Information

Free COVID-19 Testing for Students

We are excited and ready to welcome your child back to school! Our priority is to provide safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students. For the 2022-23  school year we are providing COVID-19 testing for all returning students. The testing program is convenient, safe, and free of charge. The program includes the following testing models:

  1. Symptomatic Testing—testing students with COVID symptoms. The student will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 test if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 while at school.
  2. Diagnostic Testing during Outbreak— If your child is a part of a cohort (for example, classroom, sports team or extracurricular activity) of students with multiple positive COVID-19 cases in the cohort, your child will be tested for COVID-19.

Please read the information carefully before agreeing to have your child tested in school. Please contact your school nurse if you have any questions. The test is not painful and we will know the results in 15 minutes. We will contact you with the test results.

Helpful Resources

Community Testing Locations for Students

Free COVID-19 Testing is Available for Students

The School District of Philadelphia is partnering with DOCS Health, CHOP, and the Philadelphia Department of Health to make FREE COVD-19 Testing available for students. All students attending in-person and through Philadelphia Virtual Academy are eligible be tested for COVID-19.

  • Please bring identification and health information.
  • No co-pay is required. Uninsured patients will still be tested.

School-Based Test Locations

Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am-6:00pm

To learn more, view DOCS Health’s information flyer below or OR call DOCS Health at (866) 916-6447
English | Español 汉语 | Việt | PortuguêsРусский | SHQIP | ខ្មែរ | Français عربي

Click Here for additional community locations available for students.

About the Test

The School District will provide Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test to students for whom we have received prior parent/guardian consent. This test is a quick nasal swab of both nostrils. It is found to be fast and painless (it is NOT the deep-sinus swabs that some individuals have found uncomfortable.) The test involves inserting a small swab, like a Q-Tip, into the front of the nose in both nostrils; results will be available in 15 minutes.

Parent/Guardian Testing Consent

How Testing Works

Image of a Dr. swab testing a student

Your child will participate in COVID-19 routine testing.

Image of a Dr. swab testing a student

We use a rapid antigen test. It's quick, easy, and painless.

Image of a Dr. swab testing a student
Results in 15 minutes.

THE RESULTS

Image of a Dr. swab testing a student

Families will be notified of their child's results by email or text on the day their child was tested.

Image of a Dr. swab testing a student

If your child tests positive, they will need to stay home for 10 days, and may also need to have their results confirmed with a PCR or molecular test. Students who are quarantining or isolating will receive instructional support while at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my child need to be tested at school?

The School District is committed to providing high-quality, in-person education in a way that safeguards the health of students, teachers, and staff. Testing helps us to limit the spread of COVID-19 by quickly identifying COVID-19-positive people so they can isolate and their close contacts can be identified.  In-school testing will help to reduce the likelihood of large outbreaks. Some people who have COVID-19 do not have symptoms and can spread the disease.

Do I have to pay for my child to get tested at school?

No. There is no cost to families for students to participate in in-school testing.

What happens if I don’t agree for my child to be tested in school?

You are not required to agree to in-school testing for your child. If your child becomes ill while in school, you will need to come to the school and pick up your child as soon as you are requested to do so. The school nurse or other school personnel may tell you that your child needs to be tested before they can return to school. An at-home test kit may be provided to you.

What if my child cannot be tested due to their documented disability?

If your child has a documented disability and testing would impair your child’s mental or physical health due to that disability, please contact the school nurse to discuss how to proceed.

Can I accompany my child during testing?

Unfortunately, no. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 being introduced into the building, parents will not be able to accompany their children during the test. We understand that this may feel scary, particularly for younger children. Our school nurses are trained to ensure that testing is performed swiftly, gently, and in a positive environment for all children.

What happens if my child becomes overly anxious and cannot tolerate the test?

We will do our best to complete the test, but an at-home test kit may be provided to perform at home.

How can I help prepare my child for the test (especially for younger children)?

You should talk to your child about testing. We encourage you to tell them that the school nurse needs to make sure they are healthy, so they are going to rub a small cotton swab inside the front part of their nose to check for germs. Remind your child that it’s okay that the nurse performs this test and that it’s quick, safe, and gentle.

What if I have additional questions?

Contact your child’s principal and/or school nurse.

What type of test will my child receive?

A Rapid Antigen Test will be administered to students for whom the school has received prior parent/guardian consent. This test is a quick nasal swab of both nostrils. It is found to be fast and painless. (It is NOT the deep-sinus swabs that some individuals have found uncomfortable.) The test involves inserting a small swab, like a Q Tip, into the front of the nose in both nostrils; and results will be available in 15 minutes.

Who will perform the test on my child?

The test will be administered by Certified School Nurses who have been formally trained by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

What happens if my child tests positive?

In the event a student tests positive, the student will be taken to the medical waiting room and the parent will be informed immediately to pick the student up from school. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) will be notified and the school will cooperate in contact tracing with the PDPH. The school will put out its standard notification of a positive case and follow disinfecting protocols.

When will I receive my child’s results?

In most instances, parents/guardians will receive results by email or text within 1 hour of their child being tested.

How long will my child have to stay home if they test positive?

You should keep your child home from school until all of the following are true:

•If symptom-free after 5 days of isolation, students may return to school but must wear a high-quality mask (N95 or KN95) for an additional 5 days and must eat in a designated area.

AND

• They are at least 24 hours free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication, (Tylenol, Motrin,  etc.) AND

• Their symptoms are improving

OR

• A clinician has evaluated your child and documented another diagnosis and that the student may return to school sooner than 10 days.