Last updated March 16, 2022, 10:46 a.m. – Learn more about this update
Bellevue School District offers diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic testing looks for infections in individuals who have symptoms of or have been exposed to COVID-19.
Scroll down to learn more about: Testing Consent, Diagnostic Testing, Order At-Home Tests, and Frequently Asked Questions.
Testing may only occur with permission. You may provide us with information on your desire to opt-in or opt-out of the COVID-19 testing by completing the COVID Testing Consent form.
Staff and students who show any symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 will be referred to test at their school site, a central location, or with an outside provider. If someone tests positive, they will be asked to isolate for at least 5 days and until symptoms have significantly improved unless asymptomatic.
If someone tests negative, they will be asked to isolate until symptoms have improved, per the guidance in the Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 Symptom Decision Tree for Schools.
Order At-Home Tests
To support access to COVID-19 testing, the federal government is providing up to four (4) rapid antigen tests to each household, starting in late January. Order your household’s tests at COVIDtests.gov.
In addition. Washington State Department of Health has a website where you can request free, rapid, at-home COVID-19 test kits to residents of eligible communities. Sign up through Say Yes! COVID Test.
Diagnostic Testing – Frequently Asked Questions
How can I participate in testing?
- BSD staff and students who are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19 will be referred for diagnostic testing.
- To opt in-to school-based diagnostic testing, staff, and students (if aged 18) or their parent/guardian will need to provide verbal permission or complete a consent form. Upon completion of the consent form, staff and students will be able to participate in diagnostic testing in Bellevue School District.
What PPE is needed for testing?
- Diagnostic testing takes place in a well-ventilated location with individuals who are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19. Individuals will self-administer the nasal swab. During diagnostic testing, staff should wear the PPE typically worn in this location, as guided by Labor and Industry’s Which Mask for Which Task (PDF).
- Further, please see our COVID-19 Health and Safety website pages to learn about the other mitigating measures currently in place in our schools, including: ventilation, hand washing procedures, cleaning regimens, etc.
For more information on what to do if a child needs assistance with swabbing their nose, please see the information under Tests below.
When and where will testing occur?
Diagnostic testing takes place in a well-ventilated area on an as-needed basis when students are referred for testing based on symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19. Diagnostic testing availability varies by building.
How will I know my test results?
Diagnostic testing results, regardless of if they are positive or negative, will be provided to the individual who was tested directly from the test provider. These results will also be provided to the District COVID-19 Coordinator, and submitted to Public Health.
How will I know the results of the diagnostic testing at my school or work location?
Positive test results from diagnostic testing that occur in the Bellevue School District will be shown on the Bellevue School District COVID Dashboard. More information can be found on our Responding to Cases and Suspected Cases webpage.
What test is Bellevue School District using? Why was this test selected?
Bellevue school district offers two types of tests: PCR and antigen. Washington State Department of Health recommends the use of antigen tests given the ability to obtain results within minutes and the need to identify positive individuals and isolate in a timely fashion. All tests are approved for self-administration under a trained observer (does not need to be a health care professional) for people ages 4 and up, allowing for more efficient and expanded access.
What is the test like?
Diagnostic testing will be completed via a shallow nasal swab. Shallow nasal swabs are not the dreaded “brain tickler” or nasopharyngeal swab. The swab only enters half-an-inch into each nostril and makes three to four rotations before entering the test solution. The samples are collected by a designated person at the building. PCR tests are picked up by a courier. Those collection tubes are sent to the lab and results are provided as soon as possible. Antigen tests results are monitored by the trained observer with results available in 10-15 minutes after administration. People who test negative via antigen testing may still be asked to go home and not return to school until their symptoms have significantly improved per the WADOH Symptoms and Exposure Flowchart. This is part of BSD’s layered protections approach asking sick people to stay home.
What if my child needs help with testing?
Some students may need assistance when swabbing their nose for testing. For diagnostic testing, a student’s parent or guardian may assist by swabbing the nose using the same process instead of self-administration.
What is the cost?
All testing is free, meaning there are no out-of-pocket costs or co-pay for students or staff. Students and staff who complete PCR tests may be asked to provide insurance information. All health insurance providers are required by federal law to cover FDA-authorized COVID-19 tests. When insurance is provided, our testing vendor bills the insurance company directly for the cost of the test. When insurance is not provided, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) covers the cost of the test. Students and staff can login to TestDirectly and update insurance information at any time. Those who do not have insurance or who do not wish to provide it may attest to having no insurance and still move forward with a test. Insurance is not required to test.
Who may participate in testing?
All COVID-19 tests administered in Bellevue School District are available through grants for the purpose of keeping schools open. Please note:
- Tests can only be provided to Bellevue School District staff and students.
- Diagnostic tests can only be provided to symptomatic individuals and those that have been close contacts of an infected person.
- Tests cannot be provided for pre or post travel requirements.
What guidance does the BSD follow when there are positive cases?
Bellevue School District will follow Washington State Department of Health guidance when responding to positive cases. That information can be found on the Washington State Department of Health Symptom and Exposure Flowchart (PDF).
What training is provided to those administering the tests?
The shallow nasal swab for can be self-administered by anyone ages 4 and up under the observation of a trained individual called a “test observer.” The test observer does not need to be a healthcare professional, as the test does not require a formal certification. Training is quick and easy. Staff that will serve as test observers (such as those that work in isolation rooms or classroom teachers) can receive training either through a self-guided video or at a hosted session provided by Bellevue School District.
What training is available for students participating in the tests?
The shallow nasal swab can be self-administered by anyone ages 4 and up. Training is quick and easy and available as videos, visuals or through modeling by a participating adult.