School Testing for COVID-19


It’s critical that K-12 schools implement safety measures to keep schools open and students and staff healthy and safe from COVID-19. One key measure is regular COVID-19 testing in schools.

When used with vaccination, physical distancing, and properly wearing a mask, regular COVID-19 testing in schools can:

  • Help reduce community spread of COVID-19, keeping schools open and students in classrooms, and protecting students and staff.

  • Serve as an early warning to help schools identify COVID-19 cases early and stop an outbreak before it starts.

  • Provide access to COVID-19 tests for families who may not be able to get them otherwise.

  • Increase confidence among students, parents, and school staff around continuing in-person learning and other activities.

CDC urges you to implement COVID-19 testing programs at schools within your district and support and encourage program participation among parents and staff.


Find tools and resources to start and support school-based testing:

  • CDC’s Communication Toolkit for Schools: Letters, FAQs, social media posts, posters, and flyers to reach parents and educators

  • ELC Reopening Schools: Resources to launch and maintain a school testing program, including details on available funding for your jurisdiction

  • Open and Safe Schoolsexternal icon: Toolkit to support state and public health leaders and school leaders in starting or continuing testing programs (from the Shah Family Foundation)

  • Rockefeller Foundation’s K-12 Playbookexternal icon: Detailed, step-by-step guidance to design and start or continue testing programs in schools

Communication Toolkit for Schools

This toolkit includes materials that school administrators can use to help promote regular COVID-19 testing programs and encourage participation among parents, students, and school staff. Many of these materials are customizable and can be adapted according to the school’s needs.


For STLT Health Departments, Visit the Communication Resource Center for additional customizable school COVID-19 testing materials.


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