12 June 2023
Vol 5, Issue 11
What can schools expect next year? Supplies, guidance, & communications.
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There have been a lot of changes to school-based COVID-19 testing as summer approaches: the ending of the federal public health emergency has affected who can administer tests onsite, and contracts with some testing vendors are ending in the next couple of months. New DOH guidance has also been released that will inform procedures throughout the next school year.
With all of these changes, we want schools to have a clear idea of what COVID-19 testing supplies, resources, and support will be available next year. Below is a detailed summary of what you can expect next year with links to additional resources and information.
Contact your ESD coordinator or email@example.com with questions about school testing for the 2023-2024 school year.
Here’s what schools can expect for the 2023-2024 school year:
Ordering and Supplies
- Schools will have access to free testing supplies through the DOH school ordering portal.
- Supplies will include over the counter (OTC) and point-of-care (POC) rapid antigen tests.
- The BD “Triplex” test for COVID-19 and flu will still be available.
- PCR testing supplies will no longer be available. Contact your L2R Project Manager for assistance with offboarding your PCR testing program.
- Due to policy changes tied to the ending of the public health emergency, many schools are transitioning to an OTC-only testing model. Here are some tips for making this transition.
Note that the federal free testing program, COVID.gov, ended on Thursday, June 1, 2023. As other testing pipelines shut-down, community members might start relying more on schools for their testing supplies.
Labor Support Fund No Longer Available
- The Labor Support Fund ends on Monday, July 31, 2023 and will not be available next school year.
- Schools have until Wednesday, August 9, 2023, to submit their final reimbursement claims.
If your school or district has payroll or financial reporting cycles after August 9, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Guidance & Communications
- The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) updated the Guidance to Prevent and Respond to COVID-19 in K-12 Schools and Child Cares on May 30, 2023.
- Please note: While the new guidance is effective immediately, DOH does not plan to change K-12 schools policies or practices before the end of the current school year.
- See our Q&As on K-12 guidance for more details on reporting, definitions of outbreaks, and more.
- There will be communications support from DOH throughout the next school year. Information on online testing resources and contacts for primary support staff will be sent via the L2R newsletter in the coming months.
MTS License Renewal
Clarification: Fees due June 30.
You may have received an email from DOH notifying you to renew your MTS license before it expires June 30 and stating that the renewal fee was due on June 1, which has passed.
Be assured that you still have until Friday, June 30, 2023 to renew your MTS license. There is no penalty for a renewal after June 30, but it could result in a gap in coverage. Your MTS license will be effective the day that your renewal payment is made.
Please note: You must have an active MTS license if you plan to perform tests onsite for the purpose of diagnosis, treatment, or screening. This includes point-of-care testing for COVID-19 and glucose (blood sugar) testing. MTS license is required if you are assisting individuals with blood glucose monitoring in any way, including performing the test or acting on the result. See this letter from DOH for more information about determining whether you need an MTS license for glucose testing.
How to renew your license:
- Instructions for how to make a renewal payment are included in your renewal notice. If you did not receive the renewal notice, contact email@example.com for assistance before June 30.
- Schools with an active MTS/CLIA waiver license do not need to submit a new application, just pay the renewal fee ($260).
- If you are renewing your MTS license and want to add glucose testing, complete a Test Menu Change Form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the form, enter “Glucose testing,” and mark “Y” in the “Waived?” column. If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact email@example.com or call (360) 236-4661.
If you have any issues making your payment, call the DOH customer service center at 360-236-4700. Additional questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on MTS licenses (or “CLIA waivers”) see our MTS License FAQs.
Free tests for summer camps & extracurricular groups.
Here’s what to know & how to order.
DOH is offering at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for summer camps and extracurricular groups that serve PreK-12 age children and youth during the summer months. These programs can be educational or recreational, such as club sports, outdoor education centers, etc.
Here’s what camps and extracurricular organizations need to know:
- The camp/extracurricular organization must have participants that are in the PreK-12 age range to be eligible for these resources. However, anyone (including staff) within the eligible organization can use the testing resource.
- The camp/extracurricular organization does not need to be directly affiliated with a school to request tests, so long as the population they serve includes kids in the PreK-12 age range.
- At-home tests can be sent home for individual use or self-administered. Tests cannot be conducted or resulted onsite by someone other than the individual who is taking a test. Onsite administration requires an active MTS license and a licensed medical professional who is authorized under state law to administer the test.
See the order form for more details about which tests are available.