K-12 COVID-19 Screening & School Resources

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and partner laboratories, is offering free screening testing for COVID-19 to all Oregon K-12 students during the 2022-2023 academic year.

K-12 COVID-19 Screening & School Resources

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and partner laboratories, is offering free screening testing for COVID-19 to all Oregon K-12 students during the 2022-2023 academic year.

About our COVID-19 Screening Program

The K-12 Student Screening Testing Program offers all of Oregon’s schools, public and private, free, weekly testing for COVID-19 during the 2022-2023 academic school year.

Screening testing targets unvaccinated students, however, schools are not required to verify the vaccination status of participating students.

Weekly testing for COVID-19 will help identify COVID-19 infections early, especially in asymptomatic individuals. This keeps schools open, students in class, and parents in work. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recommend that all schools implement COVID-19 screening testing.

Participation in this program is voluntary, and schools and families can opt-out at any time.

Eligibility

Because COVID-19 vaccines are very effective in reducing the risk of infection, OHA recommends screening unvaccinated individuals. Your school may choose to verify vaccination status of students, but this is not required to participate.

Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 should be excluded for 90 days because they may still test positive.

This program is open to all Oregon K-12 schools, public or private.

The program is not open to early learning or pre-K programs.

Cost

This program is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

There is no cost to the school or students being tested.

 

Administration of Tests

Students who opt into weekly testing and have completed the consent forms will be mailed a supply of testing kits directly to their home.

These are saliva PCR tests, which consist of spitting into a tube, which can be done by the student in the privacy of their home and then dropped off at their school’s designated drop-off box (usually located in or near the main office), on or before their pick-up day.

An adult will need to monitor the self-collection process and ensure that specimens are labeled and packaged correctly for courier pick-up.

Students or their legal guardians will then need to bring their packaged sample back to the school within 7 days and deposit it into the school’s designated drop off box.

Specific trainings on courier services will be provided by the laboratory.

Eligibility

Because COVID-19 vaccines are very effective in reducing the risk of infection, OHA recommends screening unvaccinated individuals. Your school may choose to verify vaccination status of students, but this is not required to participate.

Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 should be excluded for 90 days because they may still test positive.

This program is open to all Oregon K-12 schools, public or private.

The program is not open to early learning or pre-K programs.

Cost

This program is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

There is no cost to the school or students being tested.

Administration of Tests

Students who opt into weekly testing and have completed the consent form will have testing kits mailed to them at the mailing address provided on the Smartsheet consent form.

Tests consist of saliva collection, spitting into a tube, which can be done by the student at home.

An adult will need to monitor the self-collection process and ensure that specimens are labeled and packaged correctly for shipping or courier pick-up.

Students or their legal guardians will then need to bring their packaged sample back to the school within 7 days and deposit it into the school’s designated drop off box.

Specific trainings on courier services will be provided by the laboratory.

About our COVID-19 Screening Program

Screening testing is testing for individuals without symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19. Once your school has opted into this program, they can now offer students weekly screening for classroom cohorts (e.g., a second-grade classroom), extracurricular cohorts (e.g., a chess club or football team), or both. Because COVID-19 vaccines are very effective in reducing the risk of infection, the CDC recommends screening only in unvaccinated individuals. Schools may choose to verify vaccination status, but this is not required, and all interested students are welcome to enroll, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Participation is voluntary, and schools and families can opt-out at any time. The program for your school is being administered by the Santiam Hospital Scope Laboratory in Sublimity, OR.
  • Participation in the program and all results are confidential, however, positive COVID-19 results must be reported to the local public health authority for case investigation and contact tracing as necessary.

Why is Testing Important?

Going to school in person is how our students do their best learning and many of us have come to learn this throughout the pandemic. Getting our students back into in person schooling and keeping them there is our goal. An in-person learning environment can provide more than just education. In addition to academics, it is often how students are able to learn social and emotional skills, exercise, receive healthy meals, gain internet access, obtain mental health services, and get other crucial services. The strain of distance learning can be felt by all students; however, those with disabilities, minorities, and individual’s living in poverty feel these effects profoundly. We strive to make testing equitable for all students.

Community Testing

Testing for COVID-19, including those who have no symptoms, who show symptoms of infection, and who may have been exposed to the virus will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by identifying individuals who are in need of treatment without undue delay. A positive test, early in the course of the virus, allows individuals to isolate themselves – reducing the chances that they will infect others and providing the opportunity to seek treatment earlier. Potentially reducing disease severity and the risk of long-term disability, or death.

Resources

About half of all COVID-19 infections are transmitted by people who are not showing any symptoms. The ability to identify infected individuals while they have yet to develop symptoms or are asymptomatic, plays a pivotal role in stopping the pandemic. Testing can also offer added protection for schools that are not always able to provide optimal physical distance between students or other mitigation strategies.

K-12

Schools are stimulating and enriching to the lives of our students. We can make schools a safe place for our students as well. Schools, families, and communities can come together to secure in-person learning by opting into free weekly testing and following all other recommended precautions.

 

K-12 Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your questions about the K-12 Screening Program.

Q: What is the K-12 Screening Program?

A: The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has partnered with local medical labs to bring free opt-in COVID-19 testing to K-12 schools in Oregon; Santiam Hospital is working with the OHA to provide this program to local schools so they can better protect the health of their student body.

Q: Is my school enrolled in the screening program?

A: The schools or school districts that have opted in are listed below. To sign-up, find your school or district's sign-up form on our For Parents K-12 Screening page. If your school has not opted in, contact your school and urge them to join for easy testing.

Districts

Salem-Keizer School District

North Santiam School District

Silver Falls School District

Heritage

Silver Leaf

Eagle Charter

Livingstone Academy 

Gervais School District

Mt. Angel School District

Regis St. Mary Catholic School

North Marion School District

 

 

Q: I’m a parent and I want my school to start screening.

A: Please let your school administrators know that you would like to have the option of enrolling in this program. They will need to go to this link: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/000243992e4a4495b8d3cecb65179b2a to opt their district or school in and find more information.

Q: What type of test is administered?

A: Our program uses saliva PCR tests, and it is the most accurate test used to detect the COVID-19 virus; the only thing your student will need to do is collect saliva once a week and then turn it into their schools' designated drop-off location on or before the school’s pick-up day.

Q: How much will this cost me?

A: Participation in your schools weekly testing program will come at no cost to you, the program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority.

Q: How accurate are the results, How long will they take?

A: The saliva test is a PCR test, and it is the most accurate test used to detect the COVID-19 virus. Students in the K-12 Screening Testing Program will get their results within 24 hours of the lab’s receipt of the samples. You will get an email from LabDash notifying you that the results are ready to be viewed in your private and secure LabDash account.

Community test results will come back within 24-72 hours after receipt at the lab. If your student has tested positive in the last 90 days do NOT do the weekly screening test as it could lead to a false positive.

Q: Can I use the results if it’s required to travel or go to an event

A: Yes, these results are acceptable for most events and travel requirements. You are able to download a PDF of your results from your LabDash account as needed. 

Q: How long will this take me and my student?

A: Collection can be done at home and should take around fifteen (15) minutes to complete each week. We find that it is helpful to encourage your student to think about their favorite food to increase saliva production. If you have a young student or a disabled student who has a hard time spitting in the tube, please contact the lab and we can send you a plunger to help with saliva collection.

Q: We accidentally missed a week, what do we do?

A: Don’t worry, just collect and turn in your sample like normal the following week; you won’t be taken off of the program if you miss a collection date.

Q: What happens if I test positive?

A: If the results are positive, you will receive a phone call confirming these results, information on quarantining, guidance on what to look out for and when to seek professional medical care, and information on how to get additional resources for help if needed.

Q: Why should I Opt-in to this program?

A: Regular screening testing helps us stop the spread of COVID-19 and:

  • Keeps our schools open for in-person learning.
  • Helps us detect COVID-19 cases early, so we can stop an outbreak before it happens. 
  • Helps prevent disruptions to your daily routines.
  • Gives you peace of mind knowing whether your student has COVID-19.
  • Prevents a sick student from unknowingly spreading COVID-19 to loved ones.

Testing is one of many tools we use to reduce the spread of COVID-19, along with masking, physical distancing and washing your hands. Many people have the virus and don’t know it because they don’t have symptoms. You can prevent spreading it to your family, friends and others by testing on a regular basis. By participating in the program you are helping your family and community stay happy and healthy!

Q: How is my privacy protected?

A: SCoPE will never share your child’s information or COVID-19 status with anyone other than public health officials. SCoPE will not share test results with your school. While your school will not get your child’s results from SCoPE, it might get them from the OHA or your local health authority.

Q: How does the K12 Screening program differentiate from Test to Stay?

A: OHA has recommended a Test to Stay program to help students stay in school under a modified quarantine regiment after being exposed to COVID-19 while in school or on the bus. Our program is a screening program, rather than a diagnostic program, and is not limited to school and bus only exposures. Our PCR test can be used in the Test to Stay program on days 5-7 after exposure to confirm that the student is safe to go back to school. Contact us at 503-769-3230 to get this test scheduled.

FAQs about Test to Stay can be found by

downloading this PDF: See page two for information about how the screening program and Test to Stay can work together.

Q: What is LabDash? How do I create a LabDash account?

A: LabDash is a HIPPA certified reporting portal used by many labs. We use LabDash to communicate results. When your results are ready LabDash will send you an email notifying you that the results are ready to be viewed in the portal. To create an account, go to Labdash.net. You can find step-by-step instructions here:

Registering for LabDash

Saliva Collection, Physical and LabDash

In Partnership With:

Oregon Department of Education
Oregon Health Authority
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