- K-12 Schools Point-of-Care Testing
- How to Report POC Testing Results
- Requirements for Reporting
- Over-the-Counter Tests
K-12 Schools Point-of-Care Testing
All K-12 schools that administer (meaning they perform or interpret) COVID-19 point-of-care (POC) tests are required to report results to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). The purpose of this page is to provide information, guidance, and resources to schools regarding POC test reporting. Review more information about testing in schools.
POC tests, often called “rapid tests,” are diagnostic tests performed near the patient and provide results within minutes. Examples of POC tests:
- Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card
- Access Bio CareStart™ Antigen test
- BD Veritor™ System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2
If your school is collecting specimens and sending them to a lab, that is NOT a POC test, and the lab should already be reporting the results. You should confirm that the lab is reporting results to DOH and that you do not need to report them separately.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides:
- Guidance on the regulatory requirements for SARS-CoV-2 POC testing.
- How to use POC tests safely.
- Information on reporting POC test results.
View CDC's Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Point-of-Care Testing for more information.
How to Report POC Testing Results
To report POC test results to DOH, schools should use the SimpleReport web-based application. DOH has partnered with CDC and the U.S. Digital Service to offer this application to schools for a more streamlined method to submit COVID-19 POC test results.
There are two methods for entering results in SimpleReport. The first method is to manually enter each result. The other option is to use the bulk upload feature. The bulk upload option allows users to report results using a CSV file. Users will have access to a spreadsheet provided by CDC that is formatted to meet the data reporting requirements for state and local health departments.
The CDC bulk results upload guide includes a video tutorial, data formatting guide, and step-by-step instructions for preparing and uploading a spreadsheet. To learn more and get started, please review the videos and resources below.
SimpleReport Training Video (YouTube)
SimpleReport Training Video - Spanish (YouTube)
For more information, please see the SimpleReport user guide, the bulk results upload guide, and additional training materials.
Requirements for Reporting
Washington Administrative Code WAC 246-101-101 requires laboratories to report positive COVID-19 results to public health within 24 hours of the test. In summary, POC sites, which are licensed to conduct waived tests under a certificate of waiver, are required to report only positive test results from molecular (PCR) and antigen (rapid) tests. Ask on Order Entry questions, such as symptoms or whether it was the patient’s first test, are no longer required to be reported.
Other requirements include:
- Report all positive results within 24 hours of the test (WAC 246-101-101).
- If your school is transitioning from manual reporting (like spreadsheet or report form) to SimpleReport, you must complete a three-day parallel reporting requirement. This means you should continue reporting manually through your previous method for three days, while also reporting to SimpleReport. This will ensure we receive accurate and timely results during this transition. If you are new to reporting, you only need to submit COVID-19 test results on SimpleReport.
- Once the three-day parallel reporting requirement is complete, you do not need to continue to report results to DOH and your LHJ. COVID-19 test results reported through SimpleReport are routed to LHJs.
- More information is available in the Guidance to Prevent and Respond to Schools and Child Cares.
Schools that use or provide COVID-19 over-the-counter (OTC) or self-tests should review the Interim SARS-CoV-2 Self-Testing Guidance for K-12 Schools and Child Care Providers (PDF). In summary, if a school performs or interprets an OTC test, they are required to have a Medical Test Site (MTS)/Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) license and should report the results using SimpleReport as described above.
OTC tests that are performed and interpreted by the individual should not be reported through SimpleReport, even if the tests are provided by the school. However, schools are required to report all COVID-19 cases, suspected cases, and suspected outbreaks that may be associated with the school directly to local public health (WAC 246-101 part -420). For example, if an individual or the parent/guardian shares a positive OTC test result with the school, then these positive test results are considered suspect cases and must be reported to the LHJ/County Health Department.
If you have a general question about POC test reporting or need support, please contact email@example.com. If your school is participating in Learn to Return, you may also contact your Health Commons program manager for assistance.