COVID-19 Testing for Kids and Families
MDH announced a recommendation for all school-age youth returning to school, youth sports, or extracurricular activities, and their families, to get tested every two weeks through the end of the school year. While it is not a requirement, regular testing complements other safety measures already in place, such as masking and social distancing.
Schools and youth organizations can send messages and resources available on COVID-19 Testing for Kids and Families to families to encourage testing. Getting tested every two weeks from now until the end of the school year can help keep schools open and sports operating, and ensure we are limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Student COVID-19 Testing Update
At Governor Walz’s direction, MDE is removing yet another barrier to testing: the UPS drop box. While some kids live down the street from a drop box, it’s quite a haul for others. Students will now be able to send their Vault-at-Home tests back to the lab through their schools.
How this works:
- Students or families order tests through the Vault-at-Home program (remember tests are no costs to Minnesota residents).
- Students complete their test at home.
- Students seal their sample tube and place it in the biohazard bag. The biohazard bag then gets sealed in the shipping bag that came with the test. The shipping label sticker is attached to the bag.
- Students bring their sealed shipping bag with the shipping label to school on your designated onsite testing day. Please communicate clearly with all students and families as to the day of your onsite testing programs.
To help students comply with MDH’s bi-weekly testing guidance and use at-home tests as a screening tool:
- Students should test on the same schedule as staff (a specific day every other week).
- Students will need to have a Vault-at-Home kit on hand at home to complete and bring to school on staff testing day.
- Once students receive notice that their sample is being processed at the lab, they can order another Vault-at-Home kit for the next screening day.
Spring Break and Travel to or from Minnesota
CDC Recommends No Travel
- We have received numerous questions about spring break and recommendations for quarantine after travel. The CDC recommends no travel (no domestic travel and no international travel) during COVID-19. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Read the CDC’s information on traveling during COVID-19 and the CDC’s after you travel information, which recommends individuals get tested 3-5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if the test comes back negative.
- Two Weeks Following Spring Break Carry a Heightened Risk for Potential Exposure to COVID-19
- There is no requirement for schools to enforce the CDC recommendations for quarantine after travel, however because there may be many members of the school community who are returning from travel in many different locations, the two weeks following spring break will carry a heightened risk for potential exposures in the school setting. Please communicate the CDC’s post-travel recommendations, and reemphasize all prevention measures with members of the school community. We are aware that some schools are considering or planning to implement a hybrid or distance learning model for 1-2 weeks following spring break to guard against exposures in the school setting, similar to the approach many took in a delayed return after the holidays.
- Out-of-State Travel is Highly Discouraged
- People who visit Minnesota, and Minnesotans returning after traveling out of state, are asked to stay away from others (quarantine) for 14 days after they arrive in Minnesota. Read more guidance on steps to take after traveling.