Elementary School-based COVID Testing
All elementary school staff and students are eligible to participate in RANDOM AND OPTIONAL school-based testing through COVIDCheck Colorado at no cost to identify asymptomatic children and adults. For students, this test collects saliva instead of using a nasal swab. The school-based testing will begin Jan. 11 and run through March 12 of this year.
Testing is not mandatory and will not be performed without parental permission, but it is strongly encouraged as a critical safety strategy.
As a reminder, all students, staff and parents can always sign up for a COVID test at no cost at any of COVIDCheck Colorado’s locations.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ONGOING RANDOM AND OPTIONAL SCHOOL-BASED TESTING CLICK HERE: https://www.primarybio.com/l/cherry. PLEASE BE SURE TO CHECK “YES” ON THE QUESTIONNAIRE BEFORE THE CONSENT FORM.
Starting on Jan. 11, a small sample of elementary students and staff (K-5th) will be selected each school day for testing in the morning in the nurse’s clinic at school. Students will be supervised by school nurses and health technicians while producing their saliva sample of 0.5 ml (one-tenth of a teaspoon). Participants (students and staff) cannot eat or drink anything for 30 minutes prior to submitting their saliva test.
Parents/guardians will be notified multiple times prior to testing and by phone or email by the school if their student participated that day. Families will receive text or email notification of a negative result and will receive a text/email AND a phone call from a National Jewish Health provider if their student tests positive (so they can review isolation dates, quarantine information for family AND prevent their student from returning to school until their infectious time period is over).
Here are important additional details about the saliva testing process:
- Parent/guardians must provide positive consent (electronically) to COVIDCheck Colorado and CCSD for ongoing school-based saliva COVID testing by signing the form linked above.
- During the week prior to testing, a pool list of potential participants who have signed the positive consent will be sent to the school nurse. This list will contain more participants than will be tested the following week, which allows for absences, illness/symptoms, students who cannot go without food or drink for 30 minutes and families who choose to opt out.
- Parents/guardians of students in this pool list of potential participants will receive an email communication from CCSD informing them their student MAY BE selected next week to participate in asymptomatic saliva testing.
- The communication will state that their school nurse will call them the afternoon before to let them know that their student can test tomorrow if they are present, have no COVID-like symptoms and have not had anything to eat or drink 30 minutes prior to testing (in the morning before 10:30 a.m.), and to confirm that they still want to be tested.
- The number of times your student is tested will depend on how many people at your school signed consent forms to allow testing. On average, it will be about once a month and a student will not be tested more than once every 14 days.
- Families may opt out of testing at any time by emailing or calling their school nurse or principal.
- The school nurse and/or principal will notify Michelle Weinraub, Director of Health Services, of families who opt out so they can be removed from the potential testing list (and then will no longer receive communications about saliva testing at school).