Return to School - COVID-19 Testing

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides access to COVID-19 testing for students and staff

This page includes information on Diagnostic TestingOptional Screening Testing for Students, and Frequently Asked Questions regarding testing and screening.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends school-based testing to manage the spread of COVID-19 and to support safe, in-person learning. 

Through the Virginia School Screening Testing for Assurance (ViSSTA) COVID-19 testing program offered through the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and in partnership with Aegis Sciences Corporation, the FCPS COVID-19 testing program provides diagnostic testing for students and staff. For students under the age of 18, parent/legal guardian consent is required.  

Diagnostic Testing

Effective January 5, 2023, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has paused COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing for symptomatic FCPS students and staff. In the event of a significant increase in COVID-19 outbreaks or community transmission rates, VDH will work with FCPS to reinstate diagnostic testing at FCPS. FCPS continues to provide OTC COVID-19 tests for Symptomatic Students.

Optional Screening Testing for Students 

Effective October 12, 2022, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has paused COVID-19 Screening Testing for asymptomatic FCPS students. In the event of a significant increase in COVID-19 outbreaks or community transmission rates, VDH will work with FCPS to reinstate screening testing at FCPS.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I provide consent for my student to participate in COVID-19 testing?

As part of the Aegis registration process, parents/legal guardians will be required to provide consent for participation in COVID-19 testing services in the secure online registration portal as noted below. Students over the age of 18 can provide consent for themselves. Consent must be provided for SY 2022-23. Consents completed during SY 2021-22 will not be permitted

Consent will only be required once. Consent will be documented in the secure online registration portal and may be withdrawn at any time. 

FCPS Regional Diagnostic Testing - Student Consent Porta

How can FCPS staff provide consent to participate in COVID-19 testing?

Staff will provide information and consent for testing in the secure online staff registration portal.Staff will provide information and consent for testing in the secure online registration portal. Please refer to the Employee Hub’s COVID-19 Resources page for additional information. 

Consent will only be required once. Consent must be provided for SY 2022-23; consents completed during SY 2021-22 will not be permitted.

How do I withdraw consent for COVID-19 testing?

Consent may be withdrawn by emailing [email protected]. Aegis client services is responsible for managing consent revocation.

What should I do if I do not want my student to participate in COVID-19 testing?

If you do not want your student to participate in COVID-19 testing, no action is required. Participation in COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing is voluntary. If you do not register your student and provide consent for testing within the Aegis online registration portal, your student will not be tested by Aegis.

 

How are the COVID-19 tests provided by Aegis completed?

To complete COVID testing, an anterior-nasal swab (a short swab no longer than a typical Q-Tip) is used to collect a sample from the inside of the front of the nose. Completion of the test is quick and easy (only a few seconds in each nostril).  Participating individuals will self-swab the first inch or so of each side of the inside of their nose themselves, when able to do so. For participating students unable to self-swab, the testing sample will be collected by a trained Aegis staff member. 
 

How long does it take to get COVID-19 testing results from Aegis?

RT-PCR testing will be conducted for both diagnostic and screening tests. Results for RT-PCR diagnostic tests will be available in two (2) days. 

 

How will I receive the COVID-19 test results?

Test results will be provided via an email and a text message based on the information provided during registration. It is important to verify this information during the registration process by ‘opening’ the initial email/text. The parent/legal guardian providing consent for testing will be contacted by email and text message to the phone number and email address provided in the online registration with their student’s test results. 

Upon receiving the test result notification, click the link in the email or text message, then enter the last name and DOB of the individual tested to view the results. 

If you are having issues viewing the test results, please email Aegis at [email protected] and the Aegis’ client services team will provide support.
 

How will COVID-19 test results be shared?

As with all other COVID-19 testing providers in Virginia, Aegis is required to share positive COVID-19 test results with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for public health purposes. Test results will also be disclosed to the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) for public health purposes. Aegis will not disclose COVID-19 testing results to FCPS.

As noted in the online registration process, parents/legal guardians of students with a positive test result should notify their student’s school and follow FCPS’ return to school guidance as outlined at https://www.fcps.edu/return-school/health-and-safety-guidance-document. If the test result is positive, Aegis will provide the parent/legal guardian with the FCPS Student Isolation Guidance Letter in the test result notification.

Why am I being asked to share my student’s COVID-19 test result with FCPS?

FCPS is requesting that parents/legal guardians notify FCPS school staff of the student’s positive COVID-19 test results so that we may provide isolation guidance and instructional support.  

 

What will happen if I receive my student’s positive COVID-19 test result while they are at school?

If a student is at school when a positive COVID-19 test result is received, the parent/legal guardian will need to notify the school. FCPS staff will relocate your student to the CARE room and the parent/legal guardian will need to pick up the student from school within one hour.
 

If my student’s COVID-19 test result is positive, when can they return to school?

Information regarding FCPS return to school procedures are available at https://www.fcps.edu/return-school/health-and-safety-guidance-document. Students who are at school when diagnosed with COVID-19 must be picked up from the CARE room at school within one hour, and may not return to school until all of the following have been met:

  • Student has completed at least five days of isolation; AND 
  • Student is fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication; AND
  • Student’s symptoms have improved or resolved
  • Student wears a well-fitting mask for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of the 5-day isolation period, in accordance with VDH guidance OR

For students who are unable/unwilling to mask for days 6-10, VDH recommends two negative rapid antigen tests (includes home test) on or after day 6 performed 48 hours apart. The first test can be administered on or after day 6. If you do not have access to a rapid antigen test kit for this purpose, you may contact your school site. FCPS does not require a negative test to return.

Additional COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines Resources

COVID-19 testing and vaccines resources are available in the community.