**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.