What Does Covid Testing Look Like?

School-based Testing

Keeping school buildings open depends upon awareness of and immediate action on any COVID-19 concerns in our buildings. To do this, we need students and staff in our buildings to get tested! That’s why we’re instituting mandatory random weekly testing in all reopened school buildings as of December 7, 2020. Our testing partners will come to district schools each week and test a randomly selected group of staff and students from grades 1-12. The number of people to be tested will depend on the size of the school, but will consist of 20% of a school’s population each month, students and staff included.

In order for your child to return to in-person learning, you must submit the consent form for in-school COVID-19 testing by the first day your child returns to their school building .

Mandatory in-school testing will happen weekly for a random selection of staff and students in all reopened school buildings. In order for your child to return to in-person learning, you must submit the consent form for in-school COVID-19 testing by the first day your child returns to their school building.3K, Pre-K, and Kindergarten students are excluded from random testing.

  • Submitting consent have your child tested for COVID-19 in school is quick and easy. If you have already submitted consent, we encourage you to do so again to ensure your student has the latest form on file. There are two easy ways to submit:
  • Fill out the form online using a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) (Open external link)
    • If you already have a NYCSA account linked to your student(s): Log in, click your student’s name, click “Manage Account,” and then when a dropdown menu appears, click “Consent Forms.” Read the page, and then choose the consent option at the end for your student.
    • If you do not already have a NYCSA account: You can create one right away! If you have an account creation code from your school, you can create a full account in approximately five minutes, and then provide consent as described above. If you do not have an account creation code from your school, you can still provide your consent right away by clicking “Manage Consent” under “COVID-19 Testing” and filling out your and your child’s information to provide consent.
  • Print and sign the form and bring it to your child’s school on the first day they are back in the school building. A printable PDF file is available in ten language, below.

This testing initiative is organized by our partners at NYC Health + Hospitals, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and the NYC Test & Trace Corps. The test is easy, quick, and safe. Instead of the “long swab” that goes in the back of the nose, this test is a short, small swab (like a Q-Tip) that goes just in the front of the nose. Later this school year, it is possible that tests will be administered by collecting a small amount of saliva (spit). The whole test will take about two minutes.

We want to assure you that if your child is selected for testing but is uncomfortable or unable to be tested, we will not test your child and will work with you to address any concerns so that they can participate in future testing. We are focused on making this a brief, and gentle experience for our students, led by trained testers.

If your child is tested, we will let you know they were tested and when and how you will receive the results, which will typically be provided within 48-72 hours.

Visit the Supplemental Information for Parents About DOE Agreements With Outside Entities to read answers to a number of questions vendors provided about their privacy and data security practices. The vendors are BioReference Laboratories, Fulgent Genetics, and Somos Healthcare.

Consent Forms

Staff can use the Health Screening application(Open external link) to quickly and easily give consent to testing, or can use the consent form(Open external link) (log in to the InfoHub for access) to print out and return to your school. 

Exemptions

Exemptions will only be granted in certain limited cases:

  • For students who need a medical exemption, due to a health condition that would make it unsafe to undergo testing (e.g., facial trauma, nasal surgery), you will be able to submit a separate form for consideration. This form must be signed by a physician and you must submit medical documentation from a health care provider.
  • For students with disabilities who cannot be safely tested in school due to the nature of their disability, you will be able to submit a separate request for an exemption.
  • The exemption forms will be available in English on Monday, November 30, 2020. Translations will be available shortly thereafter.

Testing Results

Visit the COVID In-school Testing Results page to get school-based, borough and citywide date on testing.