Student COVID-19 Testing
Tacoma Public Schools is offering several free, voluntary COVID-19 testing options to students, staff, and their families:
- All Tacoma Public School students will receive a box containing two iHealth COVID-19 rapid tests at school on Jan. 25. These tests are intended to support the health and safety of our community by providing results at home, as soon as symptoms are detected. (Staff will receive two tests as well.) Tests are voluntary.
A positive result from an iHealth test can be used to calculate a student’s isolation period and determine when then can return to school. Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for at least five full days, regardless of their vaccination status.
However, iHealth is not a lab-verified test, so it can’t be used to shorten the quarantine period of someone who is identified as a close contact to a COVID-positive person. TPS is working with health authorities for updated guidance on this topic.
- All students have access to, “Let’s Get Checked,” a free, at-home test kit that students can bring home from school. After students bring the test home and complete it, parents or guardians register online and mail in the test sample with a free UPS shipping label. Results are provided by email or text within 24 to 72 hours. Results are lab verified and may be used when a student needs proof of a negative test result to return to school.
This free, nasal swab test can be used by student who do or don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. Home Coronavirus Test. A Safe COVID-19 Testing Kit (letsgetchecked.com)
- TPS students, staff and their immediate family members can take a rapid antigen test at a walk-in clinic operated by Premier Medical Group. Testing is offered from 1-5 p.m. every day school is open. Lines can be long; please be prepared to wait outside. We ask that you don't start lining up until 12:30 p.m.
- Testing site: Madison Early Learning Center, 3101 S. 43rd St, Tacoma
- No appointment needed
- Available to those who have COVID-19 symptoms or are identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19
- Test results are available online within 15 to 20 minutes; participants will receive a text message with a link to the results
- Insurance and ID are not required for testing
- Tacoma Public Schools partners with the Washington State Department of Health to offer a free, voluntary COVID-19 PCR test at school to students showing symptoms of the virus. This diagnostic test is available in all of our schools. The brand of test is Curative.
Samples are collected by the student or parent at school using a shallow nasal swab. A trained TPS employee observes the process. The Curative-brand tests get sent to a lab to be tested via PCR (or polymerase chain reaction), the gold standard in accuracy for COVID-19 testing.
Results are reported back to the school and family within 24-48 hours, at which time appropriate quarantine and contact tracing protocols can be started. Get more information here.
- Student athletes who participate in high-contact indoor sports take a Binax Now COVID-19 rapid antigen screening test at school.
- TPS staff members can take a PCR, diagnostic, take-home test (Everlywell) as well as get tested at the Madison Early Learning Center.
You can also find other local testing options here.