COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols: COVID-19 Testing

  • Through a partnership with the Alachua County Health Department, Alachua County Public Schools are able to offer COVID-19 testing for students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19, as well as students and staff who are may have been exposed to the virus. 

    Students and staff will only be tested if they have a signed consent form, which can be printed and returned to your school: COVID-19 Testing Consent Form.

    Testing for Students or Staff with Symptoms

    The BinaxNOW COVID–19 Ag Card is a rapid antigen test that can detect a COVID-19 infection in about 15 minutes. If a student or staff member with a signed consent form has symptoms of COVID-19 on campus, they will be offered the rapid BinaxNOW COVID test.

    COVID-19 symptoms (not associated with a known condition) include the following: fever or chills, cough, nasal congestion or runny nose, a new loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, diarrhea or vomiting, stomachache, tiredness, headache, and muscle or body aches.

    If the student/employee has a positive rapid test result, the school will follow the protocols for Positive Cases, which will include staying home for 10 days.

    If there is a negative rapid test result, the nurse will also offer to perform a PCR test for confirmation. The student/employee must stay home while the PCR test is sent for lab processing.


    Testing for Close Contacts

    The Alachua County Health Department will provide Day 5 COVID rapid-testing for students who have been identified as close contacts with a COVID case at school.  

    The testing will be conducted at the Health Department facility at 224 SE 24 Street in Gainesville. The testing is available by appointment from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Testing at the Health Department is free.

    If your child has been identified as a close contact with a COVID case at school, you can make an appointment for testing at the Health Department by calling (352) 420-8993.

    Families will receive documentation from the Health Department about their child's results. Assuming the results are negative and your child has no symptoms, that documentation will be enough to re-enter school.

    You still have the option of having a Day 5 test done by your healthcare provider or at a local pharmacy or another healthcare facility.  Other COVID-19 testing options are available throughout Alachua County for anyone experiencing symptoms.

    For testing locations in your area, visit the Florida Department of Health’s list of COVID-19 Testing Sites. For additional assistance, reach out to the Alachua County Health Department by calling (352) 420-8993.

    Please note, the results of at-home tests will NOT be accepted for returning to school after symptoms or close contact.

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