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.

Note: New applications for the Screening Testing Program and the Supplemental Funding Program are no longer being accepted.  Email k12ScreeningTesting@health.mo.gov with any questions.

Resources for schools/districts currently participating in the Screening Testing Program or the Supplemental Funding Program:
Missouri COVID-19 Screening Testing for K-12 Schools Program Guide
Overview of Supplemental Funding for K-12 Schools
Supplemental Funding Budget Template

 

Missouri Antigen Testing Program for K-12 Schools

Alert Due to the nationwide shortage of BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests, the Antigen Testing Program provided through DESE has been discontinued. A new option for obtaining ACON Flow Flex antigen tests has been made available through DHSS. See information about ACON Flow Flex. Note: schools can continue to use BinaxNow antigen tests until they expire.

To receive antigen tests, a new application with DHSS is required. Previous applications submitted to DESE will not be transferred to DHSS.

  • All existing antigen testing program participants will need to do the following in order to be approved to receive tests:
    • Re-apply to receive ACON Flow Flex tests
    • Complete the required training (there’s no video; just reviewing information online)
    • Provide verification of the training
    • Resubmit a test plan that includes an infectious waste disposal plan
    • Provide the locations of testing

Use of Antigen Tests

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

  1. Symptomatic testing
  2. Asymptomatic testing, including Test to Stay*
  3. 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 a quarantine period through frequent testing. See Missouri School COVID-19 Operating Guidance for more information regarding Test to Stay.

Note: If your district/school plans to use ACON Flow Flex tests for a Test to Stay/Test to Play Program, or as part of your Screening Testing Program, the tests should be administered onsite at a school facility, not sent home with staff/students. In the application, you must select the option to administer tests onsite.

See Standing Orders to Administer ACON Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test for COVID-19 in Schools:

Application for the Antigen Testing Program

Missouri PCR Testing Program for K-12 Schools

The PCR Testing Program is available to all public school districts as well as private, charter, and parochial schools. The program provides schools with the supplies needed to conduct PCR testing for students and/or staff showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Students/Staff will collect a saliva sample, then the district/school will collect samples and coordinate with the vendor for shipping the samples to a lab for processing. Districts/schools are notified of the test results within 48 hours. For more information about the program process visit Missouri – Concentric by Ginkgo.

Districts/Schools that would like more information or have questions about this testing option should also email k12screeningtesting@health.mo.gov.

Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Antigen Tests: Schools and Summer Camps

Over-the-counter (OTC) antigen tests are available at no cost for schools and summer camps that serve students aged K-12.  Schools and camps are encouraged to take advantage of the availability of the OTC tests to send home with students and families for an at-home testing option.

To receive a one-time shipment with a four-week supply of OTC tests, complete this brief application.  The number of tests shipped to your district will be determined by the total number of staff and students you serve.  If you would need additional tests beyond the initial shipment, notify DHSS k12screeningtesting@health.mo.gov.

Additional Information about the OTC Test Program:

  • All K-12 schools, including current Flow Flex antigen test users, are eligible for this program. 
  • After submitting your application, your testing contact will receive an email confirming your allotment of tests.
  • Tests will be available until June 20, 2022.  If your district or camp would need additional tests, please email k12screeningtesting@health.mo.gov.
  • OTC tests will be either Abbott BinaxNOW Self-tests or OraSure InteliSwab rapid tests. The CDC coordinates delivery of tests and determines which test will be sent to each jurisdiction based on supply.
    • Each box contains two tests. Each person should receive a box (i.e., do not split up tests within a box).

Email k12screeningtesting@health.mo.gov with any questions.

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