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COVID-19 Testing for K-12 Students and Staff

Last updated on Thursday, Nov 12 2020, 11:18:18 AM

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

Who Should 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 To Expect 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: a rapid test and a PCR test. 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.

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 in 8-12 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.

PCR tests:

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

You will receive an email or text when your COVID-19 test results are ready. Results can be accessed at portal.ri.gov/results. You will be asked to enter your personal information and the date you were tested. You will get an error message if you try to access this portal before your results are ready or if the information you enter does not match the record.

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.   

Isolation and Quarantine

What To Do While You Wait For Results

If you have symptoms, isolate yourself from other people in your home as much as possible while you wait for your results. If the result of your rapid test is negative, you must remain in isolation while you wait for your PCR test result.

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 To Do If You Test Positive

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by RIDOH. RIDOH staff 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 tests positive needs 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 of your PCR test.

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 To Do If You Test 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.

Test Sites for K-12 Students and Staff

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. Click here to search for a testing site near you or view the list below.

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