Learn to ReturnParents & Students
What families need to know about their school’s testing program.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Latest News & Updates
Check out the L2R newsletter for the latest news and updates about testing, vaccines, and DOH guidance.
In the news
“Expanding COVID testing in schools with the Learn to Return program will help schools expand in-person learning in the fall. The pandemic is not over, but this is another tool, along with more vaccinations, that will help to keep students and educators healthy and keep schools open.”
– Governor Jay Inslee, May 2021
Read the full press release here
“This virus is increasingly impacting young people, and those under the age of 12 still can’t get the vaccine. We won’t gamble with the health of our children, our educators and school staff, nor the health of the communities they serve.”
Testing is free; there is no out-of-pocket cost or co-pay for schools or families. The Washington State Department of Health covers costs for school-based diagnostic and screening tests and funding continues through July 2022.
Have insurance? Great. Your provider will be billed directly with no cost to you.
No insurance? No problem. Just provide a valid government-issued ID and you’re good to go.
If you do not provide insurance or a government I.D., you can still get tested at no charge! The Washington Department of Health will cover the cost.
With regards to patient privacy, it’s no different then getting tested at your doctor’s office.
The school district point of contact (likely the superintendent) will be alerted if there is a positive test result and will initiate contact tracing and outbreak mitigation procedures.
L2R tests are quick & painless.
All tests available through Learn to Return use a shallow nasal swab to collect samples from participating students and staff.
This is not the dreaded “brain tickler” or nasopharyngeal swab. The shallow nasal swab enters to gentle resistance, about half-an-inch into each nostril, makes several rotations, and is placed, swab-side down, in the collection tube.
Testing serves as an early warning system to stop outbreaks from spreading in schools.
Testing programs are critical for identifying cases of COVID-19 in our schools, preventing the spread of the disease, and keeping students, teachers, and other staff in school.
We believe that safe, full-time, in-person learning is a top priority for our communities – it’s better for students, it’s better for teachers, and it helps parents and caregivers get back to work.
Vaccines are safe, effective, and essential, but it will take time to reach vaccination rates that will effectively limit transmission in schools so that other safety strategies, like testing, are no longer necessary.
Through a combination of safety measures, including testing and increased vaccinations, Washington schools can minimize transmission of the disease and help Washington communities get back to school and back to life.
What you need to know about Learn to Return
School-based testing offered through Learn to Return is voluntary, free, painless, and private.
Students opt-in (with parental consent) to participation in school-based testing.
There are no out-of-pocket costs or co-pay for families or schools.
All samples are collected with a painless shallow nasal swab.
School-based testing is a proven strategy for identifying infections and curbing the spread of the virus in schools. Through a combination of safety measures, including testing and increased vaccinations, Washington schools can minimize transmissions of the disease and help Washington communities get back to school and back to life.
A summary of top testing vendor data between March 1 and September 1, 2021.