Back to School

California Schools COVID-19 Resource Guide for Schools, School Administrators & Teachers

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

For School Administrators & Teachers

How can I enroll?

To enroll, please submit an application to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). You can also enroll through this form: Sign Up Here

What are the requirements for a school to join?

You must be located in California and approved by the California Department of Health (CDPH). All schools in California are eligible for the COVID-19 testing program.

How long does the enrollment process take?

The process typically takes between 14-21 days from the day the application is submitted to the day the testing program launches. 

Primary.Health will create your account so that once you receive approval from CDPH, it will immediately be ready to use. We recommend sending a registration link to all participant while you are waiting for CDPH to approve you, that way once you are ready, your participants will have pre-registered. This is no extra work for the school!

What is the step-by-step process for a school to enroll?

Step 1: Submit Enrollment form to California Department of Public Health (CDPH). CDPH will review and approve within a few days

Step 2: Sign CDPH Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – this usually takes 1-3 business days

Step 3: Kits are scheduled for delivery – usually takes 5-7 business days for them to arrive

Step 4: Onboard into Primary – usually takes 2-3 days

Primary.Health staff will set up your group, and send you an email once they are done. As a reminder, you can’t start testing until you get the test kits and complete the training. 

Step 5: Complete all required trainings.

Step 6: CDPH will confirm you are approved and then you can start.

How does my school order tests?

CDPH is responsible for distributing test kits to schools. When you enroll, they will send you a shipment with Antigen and PCR test kits. If you would like other tests, you can request them using the California K-12 School Rapid Testing Program BinaxNOW Order Form. 

Do I have to attend the CDPH training(s)?

Yes! Training is a required part of participating in this program. There are 3 different trainings required:

  • Reading materials and videos
  • CDPH Hands-on training  – please note you must have test kits before attending this
  • Software Training – Primary.Health provides many short videos that will support you in learning how to use the Primary’s software platform  
    • Software training usually takes around 15 minutes

These training sessions will help you launch your testing program successfully.

Who do I contact if I need help?

How do I sign up my school for PCR testing?

All schools are going to be set up for both Antigen and PCR testing. PCR tests must be sent to the state laboratory. Instructions to register for the courier service and the shipping manifest are included on Primary.Health’s help site. Only schools with a Primary.Health account, aka are using Primary.Health’s software to run their testing program, will be able to view the help site.

What equipment do we need to run our testing program?

Primary.Health’s software works on any Internet-connected device (tablet, laptop, smartphone) using any web browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox). You will need a device with a camera. For example, an iPad or tablet, or a laptop with a scanner. iPads are generally preferred by schools but Primary.Health supports most devices.

What happens if the power or the internet go out?

If this occurs, we have an offline process for you to follow. We recommend that schools print out a log sheet and the instructions to keep on hand in the event of a power outage or internet failure. 

Are test results reported to public health authorities?

Yes, Primary.Health automates the reporting process for all test results and vaccinations to state and county databases. We also automatically notify participants of their results and provide digital copies of test results and vaccination records.

What kind of tests and vaccines do you offer?

Primary.Health’s platform supports all different types of COVID-19 testing and vaccination. Your school district may have access to rapid antigen, PCR, LAMP, or other types of COVID-19 testing. We also support all brands of COVID-19 vaccine. If you do not have access to test kits, Primary.Health can refer you to recommended labs and suppliers.

How is the specimen collected?

It depends on the type of testing your school district chooses to use. For rapid antigen tests, most participants self-swab about one inch inside the nose (anterior nasal). For saliva PCR testing, children and adults will spit into a tube or cup up to the fill line. As other types of testing come to market, Primary.Health will work to incorporate them into our platform.

Who administers the tests?

Primary.Health empowers school districts to run their own testing programs. This reduces costs and avoids extra people coming onto your campus. Primary.Health will help train school nurses, administrators, and teachers on how to run efficient, convenient testing programs.

Does Primary.Health provide vaccine supply?

Primary.Health will work with your local health agency to support teacher/staff vaccination clinics. We do not have access to vaccine supply. We will also provide playbooks and consult on how to run a smooth and efficient vaccine clinic in your school’s parking lot, gymnasium or other setting using our software to register for vaccine appointments and ensure all CDC and state reporting is completed.

How long does testing take?

For both rapid and PCR tests, we recommend participants swab and go. It is much safer than staying in the room waiting for your test results. Most districts will be able to perform about 40-50 rapid tests per hour with one tester and one helper. PCR testing takes even less time, but you do not get the results right away.

Can I track outbreaks by district and campus?

Yes, Primary.Health provides daily, weekly, and monthly reports with detailed statistics and analytics to help track any outbreaks, patterns, or irregularities in your testing program. Our dashboards help inform stepped up safety protocols and can facilitate contact tracing.

Helpful links

Downloadable Resources

Posters, signage and more to help you quickly, efficiently and easily stand-up and run your school's testing program.

Test Kit Pickup

Line Starts Here

Drop Off COVID Samples

How to Wear a Mask

Stand 6 Feet Apart


School-Based Rapid COVID-19 Testing

How to Enroll in CDPH Rapid Testing Program

5 Keys to An Effective COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout