Diagnostic testing is for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have been exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with a case. OHA and ODE recommend that all K-12 schools in Oregon offering in-person instruction offer free, on-site COVID-19 diagnostic testing 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 and slow spread through classrooms and households.
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.