COVID-19 Information → Random and Rapid Testing
Free COVID-19 testing is available for all students in every school. Rapid testing for symptomatic students is in every school and random or screening testing is in 140 schools (as of Oct. 15, 2021) and expanding to more each week. Testing is an important strategy for keeping schools open and students and staff safe. With testing, MCPS can minimize the number of students in quarantine and minimize interruptions to program activities. Parents/guardians must give their consent for testing. Families can fill out the consent form, which is available in multiple languages, or request paper copies from their school.
*Note: One form provides consent for both types of COVID-19 testing (both Rapid and Screening Testing)
There are two types of COVID-19 testing available. Rapid tests are used when a student exhibits COVID-19 symptoms during the school day. Results are available within 15-20 minutes. Screening tests are given weekly to a random sample of students with no COVID-19 symptoms. These results are available in a few days.
More information is available here.
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Montgomery County Public Schools is providing COVID-19 rapid testing in all schools to minimize student quarantines. The use of these rapid (antigen) tests, in conjunction with the other safety measures we have in place, will help keep more students in school. Staff from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will determine that a COVID-19 rapid test should be administered when a student presents to a health room with potential COVID-19 symptoms. Student participation in the rapid testing program requires parental consent. If no consent form has been submitted, DHHS staff will contact by phone the student’s parent/guardian that is identified in the student’s school records. DHHS staff will explain to the parent/guardian why their child is being considered for testing and request the parent’s/guardian’s permission to test the student. After obtaining verbal consent for testing from the student’s parent/guardian, DHHS staff will send home a consent form along with additional information about the test results. Parents/guardians are encouraged to return the consent form to school as soon as possible. Participation is voluntary.
Rapid (antigen) tests will be administered through nasal swabs and results will be available within 15-20 minutes. Rapid testing is offered in addition to the random screening test program. The random screening test program utilizes PCR tests for laboratory testing and results are typically available within 24-48 hours. All testing is provided at no cost.
If you have already submitted a consent form for the COVID-19 Screening Test Program, no further action is required. MCPS will accept consent forms received for the screening test program as consent for rapid testing. Consent for both the random screening test program and rapid testing have been consolidated onto one form. A separate form must be completed for each child.