Return to School - COVID-19 Screening Testing for Students, Information and Questions
The FCPS screening testing program provides division-wide COVID-19 testing of students and staff
The goal of COVID-19 screening testing is to keep our students in the classroom and learning in-person by quickly detecting, tracing, and isolating COVID-19 positive individuals — whether or not they become symptomatic. In combination with the layered prevention strategies Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) currently has in place, COVID-19 screening testing for students is intended to help lower the risk of transmission in our schools and provide for more consistent access to in-person instruction for our students.
How will COVID screening testing be completed for the general student population?
FCPS has retained LongView International Technology Solutions, Inc. (LTS) to offer weekly COVID-19 Individual Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) screening testing for enrolled FCPS students who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a minimum of 10% of students who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated will be randomly selected at each school location for weekly COVID-19 screening testing.
Services will be provided to students by LTS and its contracted laboratory vendors and will be available onsite at over 200 school locations during the school day. Please visit our webpage for more information about COVID testing in FCPS at https://www.fcps.edu/return-school/return-school-safety/return-school-covid-19-testing.
Participation in COVID-19 screening testing for the general student population will be voluntary and will require parent/legal guardian consent for each student prior to participation in COVID-19 screening testing. Participation may be discontinued at any time upon parent/legal guardian request by revoking your consent in the online registration portal at https://fcpstestingsite.com. You may follow the process for revoking consent by unchecking the “Testing Consent“ checkbox on the homepage. This revocation can be reinstated by re-checking the “Testing Consent“ checkbox. A separate “Testing Consent“ checkbox is provided for each child listed. For support with the online registration portal, you may also email [email protected] or call LTS Portal Support at 571-354-6205.
How are COVID-19 screening tests 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). Sample collection will be completed by appropriately trained LTS health care staff.
How do I provide consent for my child to participate in weekly COVID-19 screening testing?
As part of the LTS registration process available at https://fcpstestingsite.com, parents/legal guardians of students who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated will be required to provide consent for COVID-19 screening testing services. For weekly COVID-19 screening testing, consent will only be required once. Consent for COVID-19 screening testing may be revoked at any time by the parent/legal guardian.
Each week, the consenting parent/legal guardian will receive an email from LTS (to the email address designated by the parent/legal guardian providing consent in the online registration portal) to remind them to log in and update their student’s vaccination status (if there are any changes) and provide the parent/legal guardian with information as to how the parent/legal guardian may revoke consent if they choose to do so. The online registration portal is available at https://fcpstestingsite.com. For support with your online registration or support, you may email [email protected].
What should I do if I do not want my child to participate in COVID-19 screening testing?
If you do not want your child to participate in COVID-19 screening testing, no action is required.
Participation in COVID-19 screening testing for the general student population is voluntary and if you do not register your child and provide consent for testing within the LTS online registration portal, your child will not be tested by LTS.
When are COVID testing services provided by LTS to FCPS students?
Services will be provided by LTS at school locations Monday through Friday during the operating hours of each school. Services provided for students will follow the school calendar. If schools are closed on the date of testing at a particular school, COVID-19 testing services will not be available at that school until the following week.
In the event of school closures or delays due to inclement weather or other site-based emergencies (e.g., power outages) that impact scheduled LTS services, testing will be cancelled for that date.
What if my child is a student-athlete and weekly COVID-19 screening testing is required?
For more information regarding testing requirements for student-athletes and to provide parent/legal guardian consent for your student-athlete to participate in weekly COVID-19 screening testing through Aegis Sciences Corporation, visit the Athletic Vaccination page.
Will my child need to travel to another location to access COVID-19 screening testing?
LTS will complete weekly COVID-19 screening testing in most FCPS schools. However, in a few school locations where there is a very small number of students to be tested, students will need to be transported to a nearby FCPS testing site. Your school will notify you if this will be required for your child and will identify the location, day of the week, and timeframe that your child will receive COVID-19 screening testing.
In these cases, FCPS will provide transportation to the testing site and the parent/legal guardian will be required to provide consent for transportation services. School staff will provide parents/legal guardians with the documentation required to provide consent. The parent/legal guardian may revoke consent for transportation for the purposes of COVID-19 screening testing at any time by emailing the staff contact at your child’s school. Please contact your child’s school for more information.
How will I know if my child will receive COVID-19 screening testing this week?
For the general student population, LTS will randomly select students that will be tested during the scheduled time LTS will be at your child’s school the following week. If your child is randomly selected for testing, LTS will communicate via email to the parent/legal guardian who provided consent for the child to participate in COVID-19 screening testing. This information will also be shared with school staff so that they can plan for how your child will access the testing while at school that day.
Can students with symptoms of COVID-19 illness receive COVID-19 testing by LTS?
LTS will be visiting schools each week on a routine schedule. Most schools will have a designated day and time that LTS will be on site each week. If your child becomes sick while at school and is in the CARE room at the time that LTS is at the school, your child may receive COVID-19 testing during that time if you have provided parent/legal guardian consent for COVID-19 testing services.
In these cases, rapid antigen testing will be completed, and if the results are positive, a follow up PCR test would be conducted. If your child becomes sick and is in the CARE room at school, you will be contacted by school staff to come and pick up your child and will be informed if LTS is onsite at the school to complete testing.
Additional regional drive-through test sites will be available for symptomatic students to receive COVID-19 testing in the coming weeks. More information will be shared with families when drive-through COVID-19 testing services are available.
What if my child is absent on the day he or she is scheduled to be tested?
Screening testing is not required for the general student population. Therefore, if a student is absent on the day they were randomly selected for screening, testing will not be rescheduled and no further action is required. Your child will remain in the testing pool and may be randomly selected for screening testing in the future (if they remain unvaccinated/not fully vaccinated and the parent/legal guardian has provided consent).
If your child is randomly selected again in the future to participate in testing, you will be notified by LTS.
How long does it take to get my child’s COVID-19 testing results?
For students in the general student population participating in weekly screening testing, PCR testing will be conducted. Results for PCR testing generally will be provided within 48 hours of testing. The parent/legal guardian providing consent in the online registration portal will receive an email and a text message based on the information provided during registration.
How will my child’s COVID-19 screening test result be shared?
As with all other COVID-19 testing providers in Virginia, LTS is required to share positive COVID-19 test results with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for public health purposes.
During the online registration process, LTS also will request that parents/legal guardians provide authorization to disclose their child’s testing information and results to FCPS. With your authorization, LTS will disclose your child’s COVID-19 testing information and results to FCPS. Designated FCPS staff at your child’s school will receive notification if your child receives a positive test result in order to notify any potential close contacts at school that they may have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and share this information with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) in order to initiate contact tracing.
How will I receive my child’s COVID-19 screening test results?
The parent/legal guardian providing consent for screening testing will be contacted by email and text message to the phone number and email address provided in the online registration with their child’s test results. If the test result is positive, LTS will provide the parent/legal guardian with guidance as to how to proceed. FCPS will also be notified of test results.
If my child’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 the following have been met:
- It has been at least ten (10) days since the student first had symptoms AND
- The student must be fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication AND
- The student’s symptoms are getting better AND
- Provides one of the following (filed in the student’s cumulative folder):
- Copy of FCHD clearance letter (Sara Alert™ form) provided by the FCHD
- For more information on Sara Alert™ forms please refer to How Sara Alert™ Works.
- Note from healthcare provider
- Copy of FCHD clearance letter (Sara Alert™ form) provided by the FCHD
Why am I being asked to share my child’s COVID-19 screening test result with FCPS?
FCPS is requesting access to positive COVID-19 screening testing results so that we may quickly respond and implement contact tracing protocols with the Fairfax County Health Department as soon as positive test results are reported to us.
As part of the registration process, LTS will be requesting that the parent/legal guardian authorize LTS to disclose COVID-19 testing information and results to FCPS allowing designated school staff at your child’s school to have access to COVID-19 test results. Designated staff will include the Principal, Assistant Principal and COVID Health Services Point of Contact. Authorization to disclose testing information and results to FCPS will be required in order to participate in the COVID testing program.
What will happen if my child receives a positive COVID-19 test result while they are at school?
If your child is at school when a positive COVID-19 test result is received, FCPS staff will relocate your child to the CARE room and contact the parent/legal guardian to pick up their child up from school within one hour.
Why am I being asked to provide my child’s insurance information in the online registration portal?
You are not required to have insurance or to provide your child’s insurance information in for your child to participate in COVID-19 testing. In certain instances, you may incur cost-sharing obligations (for example, co-pays or co-insurance), for COVID-19 testing services performed on your child and billed to your child’s insurance by LTS and/or its contracted laboratory vendors.
I am required to enter my child’s student ID number to register and provide my consent? Where can I find this information?
If you do not have your child’s student ID number and your child is unable to provide it, please contact your child’s school for support and they will be able to provide you this information.