Testing in Schools

Why Testing?

Along with other safety measures like vaccination, masking and social distancing, testing is an important and proven tool that will limit the spread of COVID-19.

Partnerships Take the Burden Off Schools

The Washington State Department of Health is working with partners to help create a safe environment for in-person learning through the Learn to Return program. Learn to Return helps schools provide easy COVID-19 testing for students on site.

DOH is partnering with the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Educational Service Districts, and the nonprofit Health Commons Project to bring Learn to Return to more than 2,975 school districts and private, charter, and tribal schools across the state.

For Schools

Learn to Return:

To learn more, school administrators and staff can visit the Learn to Return Explore page and read the Learn to Return Playbook.

Get your school district started with enrollment

Access at all levels of the Learn to Return program is key to ensuring a school's success in testing. To promote ease of participation, the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) has granted schools authority to perform testing without regulatory barriers such as health care licenses. In addition, the PREP Act protects schools against legal uncertainty and risk through broad immunity protections from suit and liability.

For Parents/Guardians and Students

Learn to Return:

  • Is designed to be no cost to families
  • Is voluntary
  • Helps protect your child at school
  • Keeps schools open for in-person learning
  • Allows continued participation in sports and extracurriculars
  • Keeps your child's identity private
  • Uses easy, shallow swab tests with your child's comfort in mind

To learn more, parents and students can visit the Learn to Return website.





From the Washington State Department of Health Newsroom

Learn to Return is supported by the CDC ELC Reopening Schools through American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $229,356,843 with 100 percent funded by the ELC/CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ELC/CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit ELC Reopening Schools: Support for COVID-19 Screening Testing to Reopen and Keep Schools Operating Safely | DPEI | CDC.