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CCS to Offer FREE COVID TESTING for Students & Staff


Free, school-based testing for COVID-19 is an important layer of protection to keep our children in the classroom. Testing in schools for grades K-13 helps us quickly detect COVID-19 and reduce the risk of further spread. Providing testing at school ensures every student and staff member has easy and convenient access to testing services. 

That’s why Craven County Schools is partnering with Mako Medical to ensure every school in our district has the resources it needs to have a strong COVID-19 testing program. NCDHHS is providing access to testing supplies and trained staff, in addition to funding to hire additional school nursing staff to help keep our students and staff healthy. 

All 26 schools in our school system will offer COVID-19 testing (our Early Colleges and Virtual Academy will access another location close by for this nursing service). To have your child participate in this program a parent/guardian will be required to provide consent to opt-in. Testing will ONLY be for the students who are registered, and it will be conducted using the gentle nasal swabbing technique. We encourage everyone to register for this free and effective program.

If interested, it is easy to enroll to participate. Simply click on the link here and select your child’s school. If you have multiple children a separate consent form will need to be completed for each child. We will start testing on Tuesday, January 18th so please complete the registration form as soon as possible if you are interested in having your child participate.

Due to the high amount of COVID-19 community spread, there will be two components of the Craven County Schools testing program: 

  • Routine Screening Testing. This is quick, regular preventive testing of all participating students and staff even if they are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 or do not have a known exposure to COVID-19. Routine testing can detect the virus before a student starts showing symptoms. By detecting COVID-19 in our schools as early as possible, we can limit the number of students, staff, and families exposed to the virus and keep children in classrooms. 
  • Diagnostic Testing. This type of testing focuses on testing when a student or staff has symptoms of COVID-19 or a confirmed exposure to the virus. The difficulty with only providing diagnostic testing is that not everyone with COVID-19 will present symptoms, but everyone with COVID-19 can spread the virus to others. 

Flexibility and reliability are key to any strong testing program, and a combination of routine screening testing with diagnostic testing is the best approach to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Current CDC guidance states that if your child is fully vaccinated, they do not need to be tested unless they develop COVID-19 symptoms or have recently been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. 

There are a few things you can count on in Craven County Schools testing program, including that our tests are: 

  • Quick, easy, and dependable. 
  • Administered by a school nurse, testing professional from a medical laboratory, or other dedicated staff trained to conduct COVID-19 tests. 
  • Offered at no cost to students and staff.
  • Gentle swabs that only go into your lower nostril. (These are NOT the uncomfortable testing swabs that go far into the upper nostril.) 
  • Easily accessible because testing is done curbside at your child’s school from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. 
  • Minimizes school day disruption so your child can stay focused on learning. 
  • Offered to help keep our students in the classroom. 

Your child’s privacy is a top priority. COVID-19 testing results are kept strictly confidential and treated as private medical records. Testing results are shared with local and state public health agencies to ensure we are doing everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. This information may be used in contact tracing to notify close contacts, but your child’s identity will not be shared with contacts and privacy will be maintained. 

If your child tests positive for COVID-19 you will be informed as quickly as possible by the testing laboratory and your school nurse or trained school staff. You may also be informed by your local health department as part of contract tracing.  Additional information will be shared on the next steps regarding isolation based on your child’s situation. Deciding if it is necessary to isolate will depend on many factors, including: 

  • Is your child vaccinated?
  • Has your child tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 3 months? 
  • Has your child’s classroom and school maintained a strong policy of appropriate mask wearing and other layered prevention strategies to minimize the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission? 

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school nurse at your child’s school. We look forward to offering this service to our students and hope it will be a convenient option for our families. Thank you for your partnership as we continue to offer many layered prevention strategies in safely ensuring our children and staff are able to stay in school.