Surveillance testing is another layer in our overall strategy to keep schools safe and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by quickly identifying and isolating asymptomatic COVID cases. The testing program will be open to all CSD staff and students with consent. We will continue to update this page with additional information as it becomes available.
It is time to fill out the consent form for surveillance testing! The more participation we have, the better the program will be at identifying positive cases in our schools and slowing the spread in our community.
Click here to fill out the consent form. Each student will need a consent form to participate in testing.
Q & A
Why are you conducting COVID-19 Surveillance testing?
We are seeking your consent to test your child for COVID-19 infection as part of our overall strategy to keep schools safe and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In their recent guidance for schools, DPH strongly encouraged schools to consider implementing surveillance testing to rapidly identify cases and further reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
Who will be doing the testing?
We are working with the Georgia Department of Health to implement our COVID-19 prevention and response strategies. We have enrolled in Georgia’s ELC Reopening Schools program to offer COVID-19 testing for our students, teachers, and staff members.
When will you test my child?
Our plan is to conduct testing at least once a week for students and staff.
Where will testing take place?
Testing will be conducted at an indoor location at your child’s school.
Will I have to pay for this testing?
No. The testing will be provided free of charge to you.
What type of test will be used?
If you consent, your child will receive a free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus. The types of tests that may be used include rapid antigen tests such as BinaxNow and PCR tests (for students with a positive rapid test). Collecting a specimen for the rapid antigen testing involves inserting a small swab, similar to a Q-tip, into the front of the nose. The PCR test is obtained through a nasopharyngeal swab inserted into the nasal cavity until it reaches the nasopharynx. The rapid antigen test is considered non-invasive and the PCR test is considered minimally invasive.
How will I know if my child tested positive?
If your child tests positive, you will be notified by the school. Your child will receive a follow-up PCR test and you will be asked to pick up your student within 2 hours of notification. Your student will wait in the Get Well Room until their parent or guardian arrives. PCR test results will generally be provided within 24 hours.
What should I do when I receive my child’s test results?
If your child’s test results are positive, please contact your healthcare provider immediately to review the test results and discuss next steps for their medical care. You should keep your child at home and not return to in-person school until your child meets the current CDC guidelines for return. Please contact your school nurse for information on current protocols for returning to school following a positive test.
If your child’s test results are negative, this means that COVID-19 was not detected on your child’s test. Tests sometimes produce “false negatives” even in people who have COVID-19. If your child tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have concerns about your child’s exposure to COVID-19, you should contact your child’s healthcare provider.
Who is eligible to participate in the testing program?
Any K-12 student and all CSD staff members with a signed consent on file.
Will students/staff be required to self-swab?
No, testing staff will conduct specimen collection.
Will parents be notified between rapid and PCR?
Parents will be notified to pick up their student if their rapid test is positive. We cannot guarantee that they will be notified prior to the administration of the PCR test.
Can parents choose to do the PCR somewhere else?
Unfortunately, we are unable to modify the testing protocol. If you sign consent, the consent covers both the rapid and the PCR test (if needed).
What if a student refuses, or is upset?
Students who refuse to participate in testing or become upset will not be forced to continue with the testing process. Students will not be held or restrained in any way to facilitate testing.
Why can't the testing be done outside?
We have inquired about the possibility of outside testing. That will not be possible due to concerns about the potential impact of test validity, variability of weather, and other logistical issues associated with carrying out a large-scale testing program.
We are participating in a grant-funded testing program. This is a turn-key program that does not require significant support from CSD personnel. However, this means there is less flexibility in making changes to the testing protocol outlined by the providers.