OHSU’s K-12 COVID-19 screening program is back for the 2022-23 school year.
Thank you for your interest in the K-12 COVID-19 testing program. Your child can get free weekly COVID-19 PCR tests through their school through the 2022-23 school year. OHSU is able to test all students who wish to be a part of the program.
The best test is a negative test. To stop the spread of COVID-19, keep practicing COVID safety both in and out of school. This means:
- Wear a mask.
- Wash your hands and/or use sanitizer.
- Stay apart from those outside your household as much as possible.
- Get the vaccine and recommended boosters (if you are eligible).
We’ve made some improvements based on your feedback.
Changes for 2022-23:
One-stop online portal for enrollment and results
Our easy new one-stop online portal will allow you to:
- Directly enroll your student in the program.
- Electronically sign authorization forms.
- View, download and share your student’s test results.
Ready to enroll? Get started with LabFinder.
Test kits shipped directly to participating students
Check with your school to see if your student is testing on site or at home.
For students testing at home, OHSU will now ship all of the necessary supplies to test directly to the address provided during enrollment.
For students testing at home, each test kit will now come with a unique barcode pre-attached.
When you’re ready to test:
- Log in to LabFinder.
- Click “Link Your Test.”
- Scan the barcode with your phone or type in the barcode ID to link the test to the student’s account
You’ll receive test results directly through LabFinder one to two days after dropping off the specimen.
Please drop off your sample at your school’s collection day.
Missed your school’s testing day? No problem!
We’re happy to announce three new locations in the Portland area where you can drop off samples, Monday through Thursday, during regular clinic hours:
K-12 COVID-19 testing FAQs
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has partnered with local medical labs to bring free opt-in COVID-19 testing to K-12 schools in Oregon. OHSU is a medical lab partner in OHA regions 1, 6 and 9. This means OHSU provides testing to schools in these counties: Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah, Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Baker and Malheur. Schools and parents/students must opt in to participate.
The program is funded through a grant to OHA from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website are those of OHSU and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, HHS or the U.S. government.
OHSU is one of the lab partners for the screening program led by the OHA and the Oregon Department of Education to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools. Learn more about the program.
In the first year of the K-12 COVID-19 Screening Program, OHSU provided more than 310,000 tests to Oregon students. We stand ready once again to work with schools as they opt in to the program in regions 1, 6 and 9.
Here is the process we will follow:
- Oregon Health Authority invites school districts to join the screening program.
- Any school in Oregon communicates with OHA if they choose to opt in. OHA notifies OHSU when a school in regions 1, 6, or 9 opts into the program.
- Parents enroll students online via LabFinder.
- OHSU sends materials:
- For students testing on site, OHSU sends test kits, labels, instructions and shipping containers to the schools.
- For students testing at home, OHSU sends a pack of test kits with pre-attached labels and instructions directly to students.
OHSU will work closely with participating schools all year. In the first year of the program more than 300 schools participated. We are working with them again to enroll students in the screening program. Start dates for testing depend on enrollment of students, collection of information and creation of patient accounts. Please check with your school or school district to see if they’re participating with us for the 2022-23 school year.
Contact your school or school district to learn if they joined the OHA COVID-19 screening testing program.
You can also check the school testing calendar to see if your school is on the list.
We do not have any information on why a school or school district decided not to be part of the program. OHSU cannot ask schools to participate in this or any other program offered by OHA.
Any public or private K-12 school in Oregon can sign up to be part of this program. If your school is part of the program, any student in kindergarten through 12th grade can sign up. Please contact your school to see if they are part of the program.
No. The CDC has funded this program only for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Pre-K students are not eligible. If your child has COVID symptoms, keep them away from other people and get them tested. You can find testing sites through the Oregon Health Authority test-site finder.
This program is free for schools and students. It is an important tool to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the Oregon Heath Authority.
OHSU uses a PCR test. This is a molecular test that experts call the gold standard. It is the most accurate type of test for the virus that causes COVID-19.
Many patients find swabbing the nose to be unpleasant. We use a spit test so that all your student needs to do is spit into a sterile tube. There is no uncomfortable swab. It is faster and simpler to process. And, you can collect it yourself instead of needing medical assistance.
Regular testing helps us stop the spread of COVID-19 and:
- Keeps our schools open for in-person learning.
- Helps us detect COVID-19 cases early, so we can stop an outbreak before it happens.
- Gives you peace of mind knowing whether your child has COVID-19.
- Prevents a sick child from unknowingly spreading COVID-19 to loved ones.
Testing is one of many tools we use to reduce the spread of COVID-19, along with masking, physical distancing and washing your hands. Many people have the virus and don’t know it because they don’t have symptoms. You can prevent spreading it to your family, friends and others by testing on a regular basis.
After your child is signed up, visit our online School Testing Calendar for information on what day of the week your school is testing.
If you’re testing at home, OHSU will send you:
- Instructions on how to collect a spit sample for testing.
- A pack of spit collection kits (spit sample tube, funnel, etc.) with pre-attached labels.
Yes. Regardless of previous enrollment, you will need to enroll through LabFinder for the 2022-23 school year.
We will send the test results to you directly through LabFinder one to two days after the sample is collected or dropped off. If the student tests positive or inconclusive, you will get a phone call from a nurse from the OHSU COVID-19 hotline. We will use the primary email and phone number your school has on file for you to contact you about test results.
No. LabFinder allows only one email to be stored in an account. Please make sure that your primary email is added during enrollment.
It is easy to share the results directly through LabFinder with your child’s pediatrician, family members and guardians.
OHSU will never share your child’s information or COVID-19 status with anyone other than public health officials. OHSU will not share test results with your school. The OHA or the local health authority will call you if you have a positive result to start contact tracing. While your school will not get your child’s results from OHSU, it might get them from the OHA or local health authority.
Once your school lets you know that they know that they’re participating, you can enroll for the program online. Get started with LabFinder.
If you don’t see your school district listed, check under the “other” category. If you still don’t see it, contact your school to see if they’re participating.
If you change your mind, you can simply stop submitting samples or opt out of the program directly on LabFinder.
Collection and results
- Have your child drink water up to 30 minutes before you collect the spit sample. It can be hard to make enough spit if your mouth is too dry.
- Ask your child, when you are ready to collect the spit sample, to think about their favorite foods or the taste of lemons.
- Let your child eat, drink (even water), chew gum, or brush/floss their teeth for at least 30 minutes before giving the spit sample. Nothing should be in your child’s mouth for the 30 minutes leading up to the spit sample.
Students testing at home will no longer receive sheets of labels as our new kits come with the labels pre-attached so you don’t have to worry about losing them or putting them on the wrong way. If the collection kit or label gets damaged, and you still have one of the extras OHSU sent you, use one of the extras. Otherwise, the student can skip this week’s testing and give a new sample the next week on your normal collection day while we ship you more.
If you need more testing kits, request them directly through LabFinder or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For students testing at home, our new test kits already have the labels on them.
When you’re ready to test, simply log in to your LabFinder account, select “Link Your Test” and enter the unique barcode ID or scan the barcode with your phone. This will link your test to the student’s account. You can drop off the sample at your school or one of our new drop-off locations.
No. We ask that you use only the new test kits that we ship you.
Please dispose of any test kits you have left over from last year.
Your school will let you know whether to collect the sample at school or at home.
- Collecting at home: Collect your child’s spit sample in the morning before school or the night before your drop-off day. Have your child drop off the spit sample at your school’s collection site. Or use one of our new drop-off sites.
- Collecting at school: No need for you to collect the sample. School staff will collect your child’s spit sample during the school day.
You will receive results directly through LabFinder one to two days after the sample is collected or dropped off. There may be an additional wait for samples dropped off at our drop-off locations.
We know getting a positive or inconclusive test result can be alarming. OHSU wants to help you get through this and make sure that you know what to do next. The nurse from the OHSU COVID-19 hotline will talk to you about:
- The test results
- How to isolate (quarantine)
- Treating the illness
Yes. OHSU will send your student’s COVID-19 test results directly through LabFinder. OHSU will never share your child’s information or COVID status with anyone other than public health officials.
If the test results say “detected,” that means the OHSU lab did find the virus. This is also known as testing positive.
Please have the student stay home and away from other people.
A nurse from the OHSU Health COVID-19 hotline will call you. They will talk to you about:
- The test results
- How to isolate (quarantine)
- Treating the illness
You might get the test results email before we get a chance to call you, but you will get a call. If you have urgent questions, call the OHSU COVID-19 hotline at 833-647-8222 and select option 5. We are available 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Visit this page for more information about COVID-19.
- Detected: This means the OHSU lab did find the virus. This is also known as testing “positive.”
- Inconclusive: This means the OHSU lab was not able to confirm the test results. This means the student does not have a positive or negative test result.
- Not detected: This means that your child did not have COVID-19 at the time the sample was collected. This is also known as testing “negative.”
- Invalid: This means that the sample did not have enough material for the OHSU lab to test it.
No. Our PCR test does not detect the antibodies your body makes from the vaccine. It detects only RNA from the virus itself. Some vaccines have RNA, but it will not end up in your spit sample.
Maybe. If your student has tested positive within the past 90 days, please do not do the weekly screening test.
Your student could test positive for COVID-19 if there is still viral RNA in their system. Most people who have recovered from COVID-19 will not test positive. If the viral RNA is detected, it is still known as a true positive. Sometimes the tests can pick up RNA even if you are no longer able to infect others. But, you should still use caution if you test positive for any reason.
The main way the virus spreads is through small droplets that are breathed out by an infected person. There is no good data on spreading the virus by contact with saliva. To be safe, you should still:
- Wipe down the sample tube with the alcohol wipe that we give you.
- Put the spit sample tube in the biohazard bag.
- Wash your hands after collecting the spit sample.
The bags in the test kits are designed to prevent infection once the bag is sealed.
If you miss your collection day, you can now use one of our three new drop-off locations in the Portland area during regular clinic hours, Monday through Thursday: