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 bringing testing directly into schools beginning in October 2020. Our testing partners will come to district schools, every month, 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 10-20% of a school’s population each month, students and staff included. Schools throughout the city will be tested every day for the remainder of the month.
This random testing program is separate and in addition to the State’s required weekly testing in Yellow Zone schools. Those schools, as well as the schools currently closed in Red and Orange zones, will not be included in the first cycle of random testing beginning in October. You can view an interactive map of the zones, and look up your address, at the New York State Covid Zone Finder(Open external link).
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. In addition to the random monthly testing, we are also working hard to offer in-school testing later this year for students who are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or are a confirmed close contact of someone in the school who has tested positive. 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.
- In order for us to administer a COVID-19 test to your child, we will need your consent. We strongly encourage you to sign and return the consent form, below, as soon as you receive it from your school.
- If you have a NYC Schools Account (NYCSA), you can complete the consent form electronically through the web application. If you revoke consent for testing through NYCSA, please notify your child’s school as well.
- Don’t have a New York City Schools Account? Get one today!
- Read the letter from Chancellor Carranza about the testing (translations also available).
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.