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COVID-19 Testing for K-12 Students and Staff

Last updated on Monday, Oct 19 2020, 01:28:56 PM

General Information

This page has information about Rhode Island’s testing program that is only for K-12 students and staff at public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. Pre K students and staff must be part of a Pre K program that is associated with an elementary school to be eligible for this testing program.

To schedule a test, call the K-12 COVID-19 test scheduling service at 844-857-1814, seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. This service line is only for K-12 staff and students who have symptoms or who have been identified as a close contact of a positive case. Services are available in multiple languages. Notify the representative if you are requesting a COVID-19 test for a student with special healthcare needs. Test site staff will be made aware of any accommodations in advance.

Nurses and school administrators can log probable case information at portal.ri.gov/schools.

For information about reopening Rhode Island’s schools, district learning plans, and K-12 outbreak response protocols, visit back2schoolri.com. General information about testing for children (non-K-12 testing) is available here

Where can K-12 students and staff get a COVID-19 test?

RI COVID testing site locator

There are places all around the state where students and staff can get a free COVID-19 test, scheduled through the K-12 COVID-19 test scheduling service. Testing sites that are only for K-12 students and staff are listed here. Click on the side image or here to search for a testing site near you.

Who needs to schedule a test?

Students or staff members who have COVID-19 symptoms should schedule a test.

Students or staff members who are told they were a close contact of someone else who tested positive for COVID-19 should also get tested, even if they do not have symptoms. A close contact is someone who was closer than six feet for more than 15 minutes.

To schedule an appointment, parents, guardians, staff members, and students older than 16 can call the K-12 COVID-19 test scheduling service at 844-857-1814 seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

After you schedule a test, you will get a confirmation email with the date, time, and place of your/your child’s appointment.

What happens on the day of the test?

A parent or guardian must go to the test site with any child who is younger than 16. Anyone who goes to a test site must wear a mask and follow physical distancing rules.

If you or your child are scheduled for a drive-up appointment, please stay in your car and keep the windows closed until someone who works at the test site asks you to open them a little bit. If you are scheduled for a walk-up appointment, people who work at the test site will show you where to go.

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms will get two tests. The first test is a rapid test, and you will get the results of this test before the end of the day. The second test is called a PCR test, and you will get the results of this test in two days (48 hours).

Anyone who does not have symptoms but had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 will get a PCR test only.

If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, call the K-12 COVID-19 test scheduling service.

When will I get my/my child’s test results?

Rapid tests:

  • Staff who have COVID-19 symptoms and get a test at the Rhode Island Convention Center will get the result of their rapid test before they leave the site.
  • Staff and students who have COVID-19 symptoms and get a test at any other K-12 test site will get the result of their rapid test from East Side Clinical Lab in 8-12 hours.

PCR tests:

  • Anyone who gets a PCR test will get their result from Dominion Diagnostics in two days (48 hours).

Students and staff who have an appointment for a rapid test before 3 p.m. will be notified of the result in the same day. Results from test appointments after 3 p.m. will be ready the following morning. If the result of your rapid test is negative, you must remain in isolation while you wait for your PCR test result.

You can get the result of your PCR test by creating an account on the Dominion Diagnostics patient portal. Please wait 48 hours from the time of your test to register for this portal. This allows time for the lab to receive and process your information.

If you need help finding your test results, call the K-12 COVID-19 test scheduling service at 844-857-1814 seven days a week between the hours of 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Please wait 8-12 hours after your test appointment to call about the result of your rapid test and 48 hours to call about the result of your PCR test.

If you have symptoms, isolate yourself from other people in your home as much as possible while you wait for your results.If you do not have symptoms but have been identified by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, stay home and follow quarantine guidance while you wait to get your test result.

What happens if a student or staff member tests positive?

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). They need to isolate for at least 10 days after the first date they developed symptoms. You can return to school or work after 10 days if you have been fever-free for 24 hours without taking a fever-reducing medicine and if your symptoms have improved.

If you tested positive but do not have any COVID-19 symptoms, you must isolate for 10 days after the date you had a PCR test.

Your name and phone number will be shared with public health staff at the RIDOH to help with case investigation. RIDOH will provide you with further guidance and ask you about your close contacts. After speaking with you, RIDOH staff will also talk with your school and school district.

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days after the last time they had close contact with that person.

If your COVID-19 symptoms get worse, call your primary care provider or your child’s pediatrician.

What happens if a student or staff member tests negative?

If the person tested is the close contact of a positive case, they need to complete their quarantine period, regardless of a negative result.

If the person tested was not a close contact and the test result is negative, they can go back to work or school after symptoms have improved and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using a fever-reducing medication. Do not go to work or school if you feel sick.

Testing Sites for K-12 Only

The sites listed below are only for K-12 students and staff. The Rhode Island Convention Center, Thundermist-Woonsocket, and the Pine Street testing site in Pawtucket will continue to also conduct testing for the general public.

Testing Sites for K-12 Only