- Why is COVID-19 testing being done at my
Testing helps us to catch any cases of COVID-19
before they become outbreaks. In almost half of
COVID cases, the individual does not experience
symptoms but can still spread COVID-19, which is
why testing everyone regularly helps to prevent
spread and keep our schools open safely.
Making it easy for our students, families, and staff to
get tested helps our schools safely and confidently
continue in-person learning. Testing helps us more
easily detect the virus and take quick action to keep it
- How does the school testing program work?
The Louisiana Department of Health and
Department of Education are providing access to
COVID-19 tests at no cost to all public, private, and
charter schools that choose to participate. Each week
a trained healthcare team will visit to conduct the
testing program using a choice between short nasal
or oral swabs. A single team can test an entire class in
just minutes using our process and testing can take
place in the classroom, at a designated location with a
mobile testing cart, or in a central location such as an
outdoor area or gym. The samples will be couriered to
the laboratory and tested using PCR technology with
results available via test or email within 24 hours.
Any individual with a positive result will be
contacted by our team about next steps.
- What type of test is being used for the
school testing program?
The Louisiana Department of Health will provide
PCR tests, also called molecular tests. The PCR tests
detect genetic material of the virus using a lab
technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
PCR tests can detect smaller amounts of virus than
antigen tests and thus indicate a positive result
sooner in the virus’s development. These tests will be
administered either from a lower anterior nasal (just
inside the nostril) swab or an oral swab.
- Who will be tested?
Testing is available for your child(ren), their teachers,
and on-campus staff. Testing is optional for students
and required for employees . The Louisiana
Department of Health will never conduct any testing
without consent from you. Your school will work
directly with you to obtain consent within the first
two weeks of the beginning of the school year or
within two weeks of the school opting in to the
- Does my child have to participate?
No. Participation is a choice, and while we hope
everyone in our community chooses to contribute to
this effort to keep our schools safe, health, and open,
we will respect every family’s decision, and no child
will be made to feel stigmatized or singled-out for not
- If my child doesn’t have symptoms, why
bother testing them?
Individuals can be completely free of COVID-19
symptoms (or asymptomatic), but still capable of
transmitting COVID-19 to others. By participating in
pool testing you are helping protect others in the
school who may be more vulnerable, and you are
helping to limit asymptomatic spread and keep our
- Is there a cost to participate?
No, there is no cost to individuals to participate.
- Will it be disruptive to school?
The sample collection will be short and occur only
once a week. The time invested in a weekly 10-15
minute sample collection process will help protect
against far more disruptive school closures that could
result from asymptomatic spread.
- Are there incentives to participate in
Yes! The Louisiana Department of Health will
administer and provide reloadable virtual payments
or physical cards to participants. Participants receive
$25 for the first test and $10 for each additional test.
- If I have received a COVID-19 vaccine can
I still participate?
We recommend that everyone be tested. While
vaccinated people have a much lower risk of being
infected, it is still possible, and testing helps identify
- How long does the consent last and can I
revoke it if I do not want to continue?
Consent is provided for the duration of this year’s
program, and families can revoke consent at any time.
- When and where will my child be tested?
We’ll test your child in a secure environment at their
- Who will administer my child’s test?
A trained healthcare team will visit weekly at a
regularly scheduled time to quickly swab each
student, teacher, and staff member. Each team
member must go through a rigorous background
check and successfully complete a training program
specific to school-based testing.
- How will I be informed of my child’s test
Parents and guardians will be informed about their
child’s COVID-19 test results, whether positive or
negative, as well as the recommended next steps by
text or email. We will directly give students over the
age of 18, or anyone who gives their own consent to
be tested, their own results and next steps.
- Who else will see my child’s test results?
Results and collected information are
HIPAA-protected and only disclosed to the following
· Individual, parent, or guardian
· School administrators
· Orion Laboratories (certified laboratory)
· Color Genomics (software platform)
· Public Health Authorities (as required by
- How can family members of a student get
a test at our school?
Testing of family members will be available during
the upcoming year at certain athletic and special
- What happens if someone in my child’s
classroom tests positive?
Each positive diagnosis will be evaluated on a
- What happens if my child tests positive?
Please refer to the guidance found on the EBRPSS
- What is coronavirus or COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some
causing illness in people and others that circulate
among animals, including camels, cats and bats.
Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect
people and then spread between people.
- How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:
· Breathing in air when close to an infected
person who is exhaling small droplets and
particles that contain the virus.
· Having these small droplets and particles
that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or
mouth, especially through splashes and
sprays like a cough or sneeze.
· Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands
that have the virus on them.
- What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, loss of
smell or taste, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath
or difficulty breathing, fatigue muscle or body aches,
light-headedness or dizziness, headache, congestion
or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. This
list does include all possible symptoms.
- My child already had COVID-19. Should
they still be tested?
The CDC recommends that those who tested positive
for COVID-19 should not re-test routinely for 90 days
after recovering from your symptoms. You may
continue to test positive for three months or more
without being contagious to others. For this reason,
you should only be tested if you develop new
symptoms of possible COVID-19 within 90 days of
Individuals can become susceptible to reinfection
approximately 90 days following the onset of
infection. For this reason, students who are past the
90 days should be tested.
- How is my child supposed to collect the
The Louisiana Department of Health will ensure
trained professionals administer the tests in most
If your child should need to self-collect, they will be
provided extremely detailed written and oral
instruction on collection of specimens from the
school based consultants. Testing can also be
coordinated by contacting your child’s healthcare
- How long does it take to get results?
Test results will be received and reviewed within 24
hours of sample collection to ensure subsequent
results and safety/precautionary measures are
- What do I need to do for my child to be in
the testing program?
Please contact your child’s school to register your
child for the program.
- Does my child need to quarantine while
waiting for their testing results?
No. Your child or other family members do not need
to quarantine or miss family, sports or school
activities while waiting for the weekly test result to
come back. If your child starts to feel sick and has
COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, etc.), then they
should stay home.
- What can I do to keep from getting
There are a few things you can do to help protect
yourself from COVID-19, see the CDC guidelines,
· Wear a mask when you are in public
· Stay 6 feet away from others
· Get vaccinated
· Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
· Wash your hands often
August 23, 2021