California Schools COVID-19 Resource Guide For Parents

Parents Using At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Tests

The California Department of Public Health has provided some important information on how to test and report your results.
California Department of Public Health logo

Working together for a safer return to in-person learning


Primary.Health is partnering with schools in California to provide school-based COVID-19 testing using our software for electronic registration. Our web-based platform helps schools conduct affordable, convenient, and efficient rapid COVID-19 testing for teachers, students, and staff to promote a safer in-person learning environment.

COVID-19 TESTING: Frequently Asked Questions


Color COVID-19 PCR Testing 

  • For use when a student has symptoms or tests positive using the BinaxNOW™ Ag test
  • Detects RNA (or genetic material) that is specific to the virus 
  • Uses a nasal swab 
  • PCR tests are sent to a lab and it can take 1-2 days to receive results

Additional tests

  • Binax over the counter (OTC) Tests – at designated schools
  • CUE Tests – at designated schools

No, parents do not have to pay for the tests. This program is offered by your school and no payment insurance information is required. It’s completely free of charge and will help students and staff return to school in a safe way.

The testing frequency will be determined by each school. Please contact your school for more information. In most cases testing will occur once a week, but if your child wants to test more frequently or you have a need for an additional test, many schools can accommodate.

Many schools are using an open registration method which means there are no appointments. To see when testing will be at your school, you will have to contact the school directly to see what days and times they are planning on offering these tests.

The result will be sent in an email or a text message to the contact information you have provided in your Primary.Health registration. Most of the time, this information will be sent to the parent or guardian assuming the parent or guardian’s contact information was used to complete registration.

Most of the time when a student tests positive, the school will contact you directly to make arrangements for you to pick up your child. Usually, a second test will be conducted to confirm the test results.

Your data will be shared with the school and with local and state health agencies only as required for the purposes of testing and vaccines. None of your information will be disclosed or used for marketing purposes.

No. You only need to register and consent once. Your consent will remain valid and on file for 12-months. Students over the age of 13 will be able to consent on their behalf, but if the parent’s contact information is provided, the result will still be shared with the parent or guardian.

The questions are asked to meet the reporting requirements for local and State Health Departments. Since these tests are operating under a laboratory waiver, we are required to ask  the same questions for lab based tests.

Many schools are offering to test the families of students. Please contact your school to see if they are offering community testing.

Yes, California now requires weekly testing for all unvaccinated staff. Many schools will offer testing for their vaccinated staff as well.

I was notified that test results were available but I can’t log in to view them. 

Please confirm that the birthdate you submitted is correct. If you are still having trouble logging in, please contact your school or Primary.Health’s call center at 650-275-5419.

You can help your child be less anxious about the testing process if you remain calm and at ease when talking about the test and how it is administered. 

  • Talk about the virus in kid-friendly terms. It’s very tiny and sometimes people feel sick with a temperature, or tired and achy, and sometimes they don’t feel sick at all. The virus is so tiny that the only way to tell if the virus is present is by taking the test. The test might feel a little bit “weird” but it won’t hurt and taking the test is the best way to take care of all the students, teachers and their families.
  • Have your child practice looking into your eyes while you mimic the test process with a Q-tip. Wear a mask while you do this and ask them to see if they can tell when you are smiling by watching your eyes. Tell them to do the same with the person who gives them the test at school. 
  • Let your child know that they have an important job to do which is to hold very still for the few seconds it takes to swab inside their nose.
  • Prepare your child verbally on testing days and praise and thank them for doing a great job! 


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State of California

Safe Schools For All Hub
The Safe Schools For All Hub consolidates key resources and information related to COVID-19 and schools. New resources will be added to the Hub on a routine basis.

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Center for Disease Control

Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
Official up-to-date CDC guidance on COVID-19 prevention strategies for schools grade K-12, touching on testing, vaccination, masks, physical distancing and more.

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American Academy of Pediatrics

COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools
AAP supports communities, local leadership in education and public health, and pediatricians collaborating with schools in creating policies for safe schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.