COVID-19 Testing

As of Wednesday, March 16th, 2022, students who are sent home from school with COVID-like symptoms will be able to receive a rapid test at Syphax Room 101 anytime between 8:15 a.m.-7 p.m., and return that same day if negative, or after 24 hours of being fever-free if presenting with a fever at the time of their test.

Note: May 4 only, the Syphax testing center will close early at 6 pm, due to staffing shortages.

Free symptomatic/exposure testing is also available, by appointment, at Kenmore Middle School, from 3:30-7:30 p.m. Mon-Fri and Sat 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A PCR-RT test is administered by medical staff and results are available through email typically within 24 hours. More information and appointments on the ResourcePath website.  Schedule an appointment for free symptomatic or exposure testing at Kenmore

Details about the TEST-TO-STAY Program for students identified as Close Contacts.


Free COVID Test Distribution to Students and Employees

Arlington Public Schools distributed one rapid antigen test kit per student and employee to each school and department the week of January 24th, 2022.  All employees and students are encouraged to use this free resource in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines which include but are not limited to 5 days after exposure, when symptomatic, or before/after traveling domestically and internationally.  Each kit contains two rapid antigen tests and results are not required to be report to the school or via the daily health screener unless the results are positive.Instructions are included in English and Spanish in each kit and an informational video with step-by-step instructions is available here.


Weekly In-School Testing

Given the slow rise in cases in Arlington, the in-school testing schedule for the week of May 2-6 is being adjusted around the holiday on Mon, May 2, to make sure all schools get tested that week.

IN-SCHOOL TESTING SCHEDULE CHANGES FOR MAY 2-6 ONLY: (schools not listed will test on their regular schedule)

School Date Day of the week Collection time
Dorothy Hamm Middle 5/4/2022 Wednesday 7:30am – 9:30am
Carlin Springs Elementary 5/4/2022 Wednesday 11:30am – 12:30pm
Campbell Elementary 5/4/2022 Wednesday 1pm – 2:30pm
Arlington Community High 5/5/2022 Wednesday 11:30am – 12:30pm
Tuckahoe Elementary 5/6/2022 Friday 10:30am – 12:30pm
Syphax Education Center 5/6/2022 Friday 1pm – 3pm
Cardinal Elementary 5/6/2022 Friday 10:30am – 12:30pm
Montessori Public School of Arlington 5/6/2022 Friday 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Swanson Middle 5/6/2022 Friday 7:30am – 9:30am
Kenmore Middle 5/6/2022 Friday 10:30am – 12:30pm
Wakefield 5/6/2022 Friday 11-12 pm
W-L 5/6/2022 Friday 1-2 pm
Yorktown High 5/6/2022 Friday 1:30pm – 2:30pm

 

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. View Optional Testing Schedule

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.

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.

School Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Abingdon Elementary 7:30-9:30
Alice West Fleet Elementary School 11:00-1:00
Arlington Community High School 8:30-10:30
Arlington Science Focus School 1:00-3:00
Arlington Traditional School 8:00-10:00
Ashlawn Elementary 10:30-12:30
Barcroft Elementary 10:30-12:30
Barrett Elementary 8:00-10:00
Campbell Elementary 1:00-2:30
Cardinal Elementary School 10:30-12:30
Career Center 7:30-9:30
Carlin Springs Elementary 11:30-12:30
Claremont Immersion School 1:30-3:30
Discovery 1:30-3:30
Dorothy Hamm Middle School 7:30-9:30
Drew Elementary School 1:30-3:30
Escuela Key 1:30-3:30
Eunice Kennedy Shriver 1:30-4:00
Facilities & Operations 8:00-10:00
Glebe Elementary 10:30-12:30
Gunston Middle School 7:00-10:00
HB Woodlawn Secondary School 1:30-4:00
Hoffman Boston Elementary 11:00-12:30
Innovation Elementary School 2:00-3:30
Integration Station 11:00-12:00
Jamestown Elementary 8:30-10:30
Kenmore Middle School 11:30-12:30
Langston High School Continuation 2:00-3:00
Long Branch Elementary 8:00-10:00
Montessori Public School of Arlington 1:30-3:30
New Directions 2:00-3:00
Nottingham Elementary 11:30-1:00
Oakridge Elementary 10:45-12:45
Randolph Elementary 8:30-10:30
Swanson Middle School 7:30-9:30
Syphax Education Center 6:15-4:30
Taylor Elementary 2:00-4:00
Thomas Jefferson Middle School 7:30-9:30
Tuckahoe Elementary 1:30-3:30
Wakefield High School 11:00-2:00
Washington-Liberty High School 11:00-2:00
Williamsburg Middle School 8:00-10:00
Yorktown High School 11:30-2:30

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


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.