- The Oklahoma School COVID-19 Prevention Program offers free, continuous testing to students and staff for COVID-19. This means that testing is offered on a regular basis to everyone who opts in with a parent/guardian’s permission or who signs a consent form, even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. Participating schools are also eligible to receive financial support to implement additional mitigation strategies.
We know how important in-person learning is for our students and their families. This grant-funded program provides free, in-school COVID-19 testing to students who opt in with their parent or guardian’s permission, so we can keep schools open and kids learning safely in the classroom. To participate, schools must make a good faith effort to test the required 10% of the total school population each month for COVID-19. This can include students, teachers, staff, volunteers, etc. — anyone who is present for any part of the day in the individual school. Participating schools are also eligible to receive reimbursement for other supplies to implement additional mitigation strategies.
Regular COVID-19 testing is a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools open for in-person learning. Many people with COVID-19, especially children and teens, don’t have symptoms but can still spread the virus, so regular testing helps find infections before they can spread to others. This program will offer free, in-school COVID-19 testing for students who opt in with a guardian’s permission.
While some school districts have already opted into start the program, the Oklahoma Schools COVID-19 Prevention Program is open for enrollment on a rolling basis. Learn more!
This program will offer free, in-school COVID-19 testing for students who opt in with a guardian’s permission, as well as for school staff who sign a consent form.
Resources for Parents In Your School District
The purpose of the Oklahoma Schools COVID-19 Prevention Program is to maximize in-person learning days and keep Oklahoma kids safely in the classroom. Children learn more effectively when they’re able to interface with their teachers and peers in-person. Opting in to the program is optional, and requires permission from a parent or guardian. Sharing this information with parents and encouraging strong participation will help us identify cases quickly and early, which can help us stop an outbreak before it happens. Regular testing will keep kids safe so they can remain in the classroom and continue to participate in all their normal activities such as sports this year.
View resources to distribute to parents here with details about the program and opt-in information.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Regular testing is a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools open for in-person learning. Many people with COVID-19, especially children and teens, don’t have symptoms while infected but can still spread the virus, so regular testing can help identify these individuals before they can spread the virus to others.
- This is especially important for children under 12 years old who are not yet able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, families and staff with younger children at home, and others who are not vaccinated or are otherwise at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
- Regular testing will help us keep students in the classroom and able to take part in the other activities they love such as extracurricular clubs and team sports.
- No, COVID-19 tests are optional, although strongly encouraged.
- If you would like to enroll in testing, you must fill out a consent form for your child.
- If you choose not to enroll your child in the program, they can still attend school in-person.
- Students will not be tested without both the student and parent/guardian giving their consent.
In order to comply with the grant parameters, schools must design a plan to test 10% of their student enrollment each month. For example, if your high school has 500 students, 50 tests should be administered each month. We have removed the reference to “random testing” from the guidance, as you may choose to test students participating in activities that require close contact
where masking is not feasible. In this example, you could choose to test students participating in vocal music, football, band, wrestling, and drama. In this case, students would have the option be tested as a result of their participation in the activity.
- Your child’s privacy and the security of their health information is top priority. Testing results will be shared only for public health purposes, which may include notifying close contacts that they may have been exposed to an unnamed individual with COVID-19 and taking other steps to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in our school community.
- Information sharing and notifying of contacts will be done in a way that is HIPAA-compliant and protects your child’s privacy. Information about your child will only be shared in accordance with applicable law and policies protecting student privacy and the security of your child’s data.
- No, a student’s test results will be shared in a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant manner either by calling or emailing the parent/guardian contact. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) does require daily reporting of COVID-19 test results, but that does not include any HIPAA-related health information related to specific students.
- The Quidel QuickVue SARS antigen test can be administered either by the school nurse or other authorized school personnel, or by the student if they are 14 and older. It is a less invasive mid-nasal swab test that will then be dipped into a solution, transferred to a small reservoir and provide a rapid result within 15 minutes.
The test is a Quidel QuickVue SARS Antigen Test, which is a rapid test.
The Quidel QuickVue SARS Antigen test will provide results in 15 minutes.
- If you would like additional testing to confirm your child’s results, you can seek a COVID-19 PCR test through a health care provider, laboratory or local County Health Department. Additional testing is NOT required. If you seek a test at a County Health Department, please call ahead to schedule the test. We recommend that any child that tests positive isolate for 10-day period. This 10-day timeframe begins on day 0 from the date of test collection (if they never have symptoms) or the date of symptom onset (if they have symptoms). The isolation end date (day they return to school) is day 11.
- A negative test is not required to return back to school once the 10-day isolation period has been completed.
- More information on what to do if your child tests positive is included in this packet.
- Keeping students at home when they are infected with COVID-19 (isolation) is critical to controlling the transmission of COVID-19, even if they are not experiencing symptoms, only have mild symptoms, or are fully vaccinated. Everyone who is positive for COVID-19 can spread the infection to others through 10 days after their symptom onset date or date of test collection (if they never have symptoms). Full guidance on isolation and quarantine can be found here.
- Keeping students at home when they are directly exposed as a close contact (quarantine) is critical to controlling the transmission of COVID-19, especially since infected individuals are known to transmit the virus to others before they experience symptoms or when they are only experiencing mild symptoms.
- Schools and parents/guardians are in the best position to determine what is best for their communities based on what they are seeing with local spread and transmission rates. A 10-day quarantine is recommended for those who are exposed to COVID-19.
- Students have the option to obtain a COVID-19 test on day 5-7 of quarantine, and may return to school on day 8 if the test is negative.
- For a negative test result: Approximately one hour after the test result is entered, a HIPAA-compliant text will be sent to the cell number on file of the person being tested (parent/guardian cell number for minors) with instructions on how to access one’s result. Instructions also will be sent to the email address on file, which will include a link to a secure portal to access a letter from the OSDH Commissioner of Health.
- For a positive test result: If a student tests positive, the school will notify the student’s parent/guardian by calling the cell number on file. Approximately one hour after the test result is entered into SIRS, an email will be sent to the address of the parent/guardian on file with a link to a secure portal to access a letter from the OSDH Commissioner of Health.
- The goal of this program is to maximize the number of in-person learning days and keep kids learning safely in the classroom. Unfortunately, the Delta variant is highly transmissible so cases may occur even as we test asymptomatic individuals throughout the year. Our goal is to try to locate the cases before an outbreak happens. To do that, we need everyone’s help by opting into the program and participating in COVID-19 screening and testing.
- Regular testing is a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools open for in-person learning. Many people with COVID-19, especially children and teens, don’t have symptoms but can still spread the virus, so regular testing helps find infections before they can spread to others. This is especially important for children under 12 years old who are not yet able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, families and staff with younger children at home, and others who are not vaccinated or are otherwise at risk for getting seriously sick from COVID-19. Regular testing will help us keep students in the classroom and able to take part in the other activities they love.
- Grant requirements for schools
- COVID-19 testing and ordering guidance for schools
- FAQs for schools and administrators
- What to do after your student receives COVID-19 testresults
- FAQs for parents and guardians
- How to opt your student in to COVID-19 testing
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