Chatham County School COVID Testing Information
Regular COVID 19 testing is a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep schools open for in-person learning. Many people with COVID-19, especially children and teens, don’t have symptoms but can still spread the virus, so regular testing helps find people who have the virus before it can spread to others. This is especially important for children under 12 years old who are not yet able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, families, and staff with younger children at home, and others who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or are otherwise at risk for getting seriously sick from COVID-19. Finding who has the virus early means steps can be taken to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and causing an outbreak, so schools can stay open. Regular testing also means parents or guardians get notified if their child tests positive, allowing them to plan for treatment and take steps to protect the rest of the family from COVID-19.
Regular testing will help keep students in the classroom and allow them to take part in the other activities they love.
Chatham County Schools will be providing free weekly testing for students with consent from a parent or guardian beginning the week of October 18 for K-5 students, and October 25 for middle and high school students.
The COVID-19 tests are free, quick, and easy, and will tell if students or staff have the virus, even if they do not have symptoms. Chatham County Schools will provide a PRC nasal test, using a swab for the lower part of the inner nostril. The nasal test is not painful and does not use the longer swab that reaches higher into the nose.
Staff will not be tested without consent. Students will not be tested without the consent of both the student and their guardian.