Schools should keep on hand, and may give out, Take Home PCR test kits. These self-contained test kits are intended to address a broad range of response testing scenarios. Because they are not tied to school positive case reporting data systems, they can be given to symptomatic students who need to stay home, family members of staff and students and even members of the public.
Who can participate?
- Students (ages 5 and up) and staff, regardless of vaccination status.
- Symptomatic or asymptomatic close contacts.
- Family members of student and staff, including children younger than five years old.
When should we use Take Home PCR Response Testing?
Symptomatic student or staff member who stays home (family can pick up test kit from school)
Quarantined close contacts (on day 7 since exposure). The school can send a kit home with the student and indicate on which day they should complete the test
- When a vaccinated students/staff who are close contacts of a positive case are recommended to complete a PCR test 3-5 days after exposure
- When a staff member has a dependent in quarantine, the school can provide a test kit to that family member/dependent
- Anytime that a student, family member, or even member of the community is challenged to get a COVID-19 test at a local community test site.
How does it work?
To test, individuals must:
- register the test kits in Binx using the instructions on the kit either by scanning the QR code using a smartphone or by entering the code on a computer. Adults can provide consent for minors to test through this registration system.
- Follow the instructions on the testing portal to collect their sample.
- Seal their sample and return it the same day to applicable courier service provider (UPS) or return to their school.
- Receive test results via the Binx testing portal (via an email that will link them to their result).
While the tests are intended for “at home” (unobserved) use, they can be self-administered by an individual or their family at any location (including the school parking lot). Test kits include a self-registered test kit, vial, shipping box, and pre-paid courier (UPS) shipping.
Please note: this testing method does not automatically route the test result to the school. Instead the result will only go to VDH and the participant. It is important that schools encourage families to report any positive test results so that schools can conduct contact tracing and, potentially, begin the Test to Stay program.
- Binx “take home kit”: a self-contained kit containing a QR code, self-administered nasal swab test kit, prepaid return shipping package.
- For all schools take home test kits are a useful tool when students or staff are symptomatic and staying home. A family member can pick up the test kit and either drop it at a UPS location or bring it back to the school to arrange pick up by UPS at a regularly scheduled time each day.
- Schools that are accepting take home tests may wish to schedule a specific pick up time each day for UPS and communicate to families that their test kits must be received prior to that time.
- Test kits can be sent home with students or staff when they are identified as close contacts (if Test to Stay programs are not available) and the day they should take the test indicated on the box.
- Test kits can also be provided to family members so that they avoid having to schedule tests a local test site. This use of take home test kits will relieve pressure on local test sites and de-impact the entire testing system.