COVID-19 Testing Programs for K-12 Schools in Missouri

The following COVID-19 testing programs are available to all Missouri public, private and charter schools. See a brief summary of each program at a glance.

Test to Stay Quarantine Option.  Does not require an application in order to participate, but guidance is included in the Missouri School COVID-19 Operating Guidance. Schools may use the BinaxNOW antigen tests to implement Test to Stay in the school/district. Email AntigenTesting@dese.mo.gov with any questions regarding the BinaxNOW tests.

 

Missouri COVID-19 Screening Testing Program for K-12 Schools

Screening Testing in Missouri’s K-12 Schools

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is offering COVID-19 screening testing for Missouri school staff and students during the 2021-2022 school year. The screening testing vendor, Concentric by Gingko Bioworks, uses a pooled testing approach to test groups of 5 to 25 students and/or staff on a weekly basis.

The screening testing program will provide resources and staffing for the entire testing process including registering individuals for testing, providing testing materials, collecting and testing samples, and reporting results. Schools will also have access to full staffing support for testing (e.g. testing manager, testing staff), and communication resources.

For more information about the program and how to apply, review the Missouri COVID-19 Screening Testing for K-12 Schools Program Guide

Please direct questions about the screening testing program to k12screeningtesting@health.mo.gov.

What is Screening Testing?

Screening testing means regularly (e.g., weekly) testing people without symptoms with the goal of identifying and isolating COVID-19 positive individuals. This type of testing can help schools identify potential outbreaks early and give them the confidence needed to safely, and with precautions, maintain in-person learning for their students.

Application for Screening Testing

All Missouri school districts and private or charter schools that are interested in joining the pooled testing program must complete an application to indicate their interest and provide details about their school/district. DHSS is accepting applications on a rolling basis. Districts and schools are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to take full advantage of the program.

To participate in the Missouri K-12 Screening Testing Program, schools/districts will need to complete the following:

Missouri BinaxNOW Antigen Testing Program for K-12 Schools

Public, charter and private K-12 districts/schools are prioritized to receive Abbott’s BinaxNOW rapid antigen test kits to test school personnel and students for COVID-19.  Schools currently participating in Missouri's BinaxNOW Antigen Testing Program for K-12 are shown in this dashboard.

See Missouri BinaxNOW Antigen Testing Program for K-12 Schools for more information.

For questions about the BinaxNOW testing program, please email AntigenTesting@dese.mo.gov.

Use of BinaxNOW Antigen Tests

The purpose of the BinaxNOW tests is to help schools safely deliver in-person learning to as many students as possible.  BinaxNOW tests can be used for:

  1. Symptomatic testing
  2. Asymptomatic testing, including Test to Stay*
  3. Testing out of quarantine
  4. Testing individuals from positive pools identified in the screening testing program

*Test to Stay allows a close contact (following COVID-19 exposure in the K-12 school setting) to continue school activities during the quarantine period through frequent testing. See Missouri School COVID-19 Operating Guidance for more information regarding Test to Stay.

See Standing Orders to Administer BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Test for Schools

Application for BinaxNOW Antigen Testing

  • The Online Application must be completed to receive BinaxNOW tests to administer at school.

COVID-19 Supplemental Funding Program for K-12 Schools

DHSS is offering supplemental funding to all K-12 schools or school districts (public, charter, or private) participating in the K-12 COVID-19 Screening Testing Program or the K-12 BinaxNOW Antigen Testing Program to support their COVID-19 prevention and detection activities. These costs may include, but are not limited to, staff time, personal protective equipment, costs associated with outreach materials, etc. See the Overview of Supplemental Funding for K-12 Schools for more information.

For questions about the supplemental support available to schools, email the K-12 Screening Testing team at k12screeningtesting@health.mo.gov.

Application for Supplemental Funding

Additional COVID-19 Guidance, Information and Resources for K-12 Schools