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Oregon COVID-19 Youth Testing Programs

K-12 Schools

Diagnostic Testing Program

Diagnostic testing is testing for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have been exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with a case. The CDC recommends that all K-12 schools in Oregon offering in-person instruction offer free, on-site COVID-19 diagnostic testing such as that available through the COVID-19 Testing in Oregon’s K-12 Schools Program. Testing will help to quickly identify COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools, interrupt viral spread through households and in classrooms, and reduce the risk for students and staff returning to in-person instruction.

For some students, COVID-19 testing in K-12 schools may represent their only access to a diagnostic COVID-19 test and the importance of this access cannot be overstated. Because both students and staff spend many hours at school on a typical day, it is possible that they may develop new symptoms such as fever or cough while at school. In addition, when a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, their cohorts (e.g., classroom, reading group, chess club) may be considered exposed and testing may be recommended by the local public health authority.

Student Screening Program

Screening testing is testing for individuals without symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) will offer free screening testing for COVID-19 to all Oregon K-12 students during the 2021-2022 academic year. Participating schools will have the option to 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 K-12 schools and students are welcome to enroll, regardless of vaccination status.

Participation will be voluntary, and schools and families can opt-out at any time. The program will be administered by regional laboratory partners and details will vary by region.

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.

Staff Screening Program

Oregon Health Authority is launching a free COVID-19 testing project for K-12 staff in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools. This project offers free weekly screening testing by mail to any unvaccinated public or private K-12 staff. Testing is not recommended for vaccinated K-12 staff because the risk of COVID-19 in vaccinated individuals is very low. Participation is voluntary, and K-12 staff can opt-out at any time.

All testing will be mailed directly to the homes of K-12 staff and will be confidential. The COVID-19 test will be performed at home by gently swabbing just inside the nose. The swab is then returned to the laboratory by mail and results are returned to participants within days. To participate in this staff screening project, please complete the enrollment form found here.

Following enrollment, you will be sent an email by our laboratory partner to complete the registration process.

Summer Camps

Summer 2022 Testing Information

Youth Residential Behavioral Health Facilities

​​​To further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon’s residential youth facilities, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in partnership with the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) will support COVID-19 testing for youth/staff upon entry to inform cohorting, who display symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to COVID-19. It is strongly recommended that all residential youth facilities in Oregon offer free, on-site COVID-19 testing through this program. For some individuals, this program may represent their only access to timely COVID-19 testing and the importance of this access cannot be overstated.​


Past events

8/31 Webinar: Administering Diagnostic and Screening Tests in K-12 Schools

The Oregon Health Authority is offering an informational webinar on the Diagnostic and Screening Testing Programs available to K-12 school during the 2021-2022 school year. Jamekaa Baker-Flowers, School Testing Coordinator and Staci Calkins, School Testing Coordinator will co-present and moderate.

Watch the recording

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