COVID-19 Testing

Test-to-stay and symptom-based rapid testing at Syphax are not available during the summer.


Weekly In-School Testing

Families must Opt In to allow students to be tested weekly in school. Even families who already opted in last fall must re-submit because we changed to a new testing provider in February. OPT IN

Arlington Public Schools has two testing partners (Aegis Science Corp and ResourcePath).  Aegis Science Corp (as of February 14, 2022) provides weekly optional asymptomatic testing for students and employees, in addition to mandatory testing for employees who have an approved vaccine policy exemption.  ResourcePath (as of January 1, 2022) provides daily athletics and activities testing at the comprehensive high schools, special event drive through testing, and symptomatic/exposed testing.

Arlington Public Schools strongly encourages all students and staff to sign up for free weekly COVID testing as part of our overall pandemic strategy to keep each other safe. APS is providing the free asymptomatic testing in partnership with Aegis Science Corp and ResourcePath.

Summer Testing Schedule

Staff required to participate in weekly surveillance as part of their exemption from the vaccination mandate should get tested during their two hour time block for their work location. If your work location is not listed, you may get tested at the Syphax building.

School Name Dates testing Day of the week Testing Times
Dorothy Hamm Middle School 7/5/22 -8/5/22 Monday 7:30am-8:30am
Jamestown Elementary 7/5/22 -7/29/22 Monday 9:30am-10:30am
Abingdon Elementary 7/5/22 -7/29/22 Monday 11:30am-12:30pm
Syphax Education Center 7/5-8/5 Monday 1:30-2:30
Arlington Career Center 7/5/22 -8/5/22 Tuesday 7:30am-8:15am
Carlin Springs Elementary 7/5/22 -7/29/22 Tuesday 10:30am – 11:30pm
Arlington Community High School 7/5/22 -8/5/22 Tuesday 9:00am-9:45am
Escuela Key 7/5/22 -8/5/22 Tuesday 10:45am-11:45am
Washington-Liberty High School 7/5/22 -8/5/22 Tuesday 1pm-2pm
Eunice Kennedy Shriver 7/5/22 -8/5/22 Wednesday 7:30am-8:30am
HB Woodlawn Secondary School 7/5/22 -8/5/22 Wednesday 7:30am-8:30am
Barrett Elementary 7/5/22 -7/29/22 Wednesday 9:30am-10:30am
Randolph Elementary 7/5/22 -7/29/22 Wednesday 11:30am-12:30pm
New Directions 7/5/22 -8/5/22 Wednesday 1:30pm-2:30pm

*weekly surveillance testing window for non-athletic/activity participants (staff and students)

Weekly Optional Asymptomatic Testing – How It Works

Arlington Public Schools in partnership with Aegis Science Corp conducts asymptomatic weekly testing of students and staff using individual PCR test collection. In the weekly testing program, all participants who sign up are given a soft cotton swab to insert into both nostrils approximately 1.5 inches. The cotton swab is then placed in an individual test kit, and samples are scanned for COVID-19 using a “pooled” testing process for efficiency and timeliness, at the laboratory. If a sample in the pool comes back positive, the identified positive individual sample will be run a second time by itself to confirm. Other participants in the pool will not be required to quarantine. Pooling reduces the amount of time required to test large numbers of students without limiting effectiveness.

Weekly testing programs have proven to be successful across the country in K-12 settings to keep students in the classroom and schools open, stopping outbreaks before COVID-19 has a chance to spread.

To participate, Aegis Science Corp needs a signed consent form from a parent/guardian which can be found here. Symptomatic PCR-RT test results are typically available 24 to 48 hours and are emailed directly to parents. For those students or staff who test positive, the laboratory will call directly to relay the results and provide specific advice regarding further action.

More information on pool based PCR testing:

  • Pooling specimens allows the laboratory to test more individuals using fewer testing materials. Pooling is safe and effective and can also increase efficiency and reduce the cost of testing.
  • Pooling reduces test sensitivity to ensure an accurate baseline for all pooled samples.
  • Pooling is a testing methodology that can be used when performing Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) provided the test has received an FDA authorization for pooling.

Strategized Surveillance Program Overview

  • Students participating in testing will be able to administer the PCR mid-nasal swab with the support and supervision of a provider. It is a quick and easy process that takes place at a set time weekly for their school.
  • At the laboratory, technicians will receive the individual PCR mid-nasal swabs from the school and create a pool not exceed 6 students and run as a group through one laboratory test, preserving the original individual test collected.  This method of testing does not impact the integrity of individual samples collected.
  • If a pool comes up positive, the lab uses an formula to determine which samples to test for confirmation of which student(s) are positive. These confirmation results will be followed up with a running of the individual sample(s) identified to confirm positive status.
  • Families receive definitive confirmation of the positive results after individual sample(s) are confirmed within 12-24 hours.
  • Students in the pool will not need to quarantine during this process unless they are identified as a suspected case using the algorithm on the pooled samples.
  • In select circumstances an additional sample may need to be obtained in order to ensure test result assurance.

 


Discontinue Participation – Athletic and Activities (opt-out)

Students and staff who wish to discontinue participation in athletic or activity testing through ResourcePath may do so by providing their request in writing to ResourcePath via the following link: apsvassurveillanceoptout.  Parents/Guardians should enter their student ID number by using S plus the number (e.g., S1234567) instead of just the number (e.g., 1234567).  Opt out requests are processed every Wednesday at 5 PM for the following week.

 

Discontinue Participation – Optional (opt-out)

Students and staff who wish to discontinue participation in optional testing through Aegis Science Corp may do so by providing their request in writing using the following form Aegis Science Corp Opt Out.  To log into the form please enter your student’s ID number with a S as the prefix (e.g., S1234567).    Opt out requests are every Wednesday at 5 PM for the following week.