COVID-19 Tests Available for Schools

November 30, 2023

Earlier this week, USED announced a partnership with the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide free COVID-19 tests to school districts.

ED announced this partnership in a letter to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) Regarding the COVID-19 Testing Supply Program. The program offers interested school districts over-the-counter (OTC) rapid antigen COVID-19 self-tests free of charge for their students, families, staff, and school community. These self-tests are easy to use and can play an important role in containing the spread of the virus in schools and communities. We encourage school districts to make use of this free COVID-19 test offering, which schools may use, for example, to stock school nurses’ offices and main offices with tests; to send test kits home with students or parents; or to distribute by other means to put these valuable safeguards in the hands of students, parents, and staff who need them.

Interested school districts should designate a point of contact (POC) who will be responsible for determining the number of self-test kits to order on behalf of the school district, how frequently, and where the self-test kits should be delivered. Once the COVID-19 test kits have been shipped to a delivery address provided by the school district, the POC is responsible for managing distribution to its site(s).

Interested school districts can register for the COVID-19 Testing Supply Program. It takes approximately 7-10 business days for ED to process each district’s request to register for the program. Once approved, POCs will receive a confirmation email with information on next steps, which includes attending a 30-minute training on how to order test kits through HHS’s Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response’s Health Partner Ordering Portal (HPOP).