The following links are tools and guidelines to help support your school and district testing and screening program.
COVID-19 Testing Basics and Definitions
- CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
- CDC Guidance on School Testing for COVID-19
- The Rockefeller Foundation: COVID-19 Testing in K-12 Settings: A Playbook for Educators and Leaders
- National Association of Elementary School Principals Webinar: Keeping Students and Communities Safe with School-based Flu and COVID-19 Testing
New Mexico Resources
Glossary of Terms
Asymptomatic: Not showing any symptoms (signs of disease or illness). Some people without any symptoms still have and can spread the coronavirus.
Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card: The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag test is a point of care rapid antigen test.
CLIA Certificate of Waiver: A Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver enables schools to conduct FDA approved or Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) Point of Care (PoC) tests without undergoing a full clinical laboratory licensing process. Schools and districts are required to have a CLIA Certificate of Waiver for every site that conducts PoC testing, including COVID-19 tests.
COVID-19 Supplemental Funds ELC Reopening Schools: This is a piece of the $1.9 T American Rescue Plan. Eighty-five percent of the grant award directly supports COVID-19 school-based screening and testing for more than 800 schools in the 89 public school districts, public charters, nonpublic, BIE and tribally-controlled schools and is being administered by the New Mexico Public Health Division, Office of School and Adolescent Health (OSAH).
Full-Service Testing Program: Connection to a full-service screening and diagnostic testing program vendor, which includes pooled PCR testing, individual PCR screening and surveillance testing, Point of Care (PoC) rapid antigen testing, and PoC PCR testing.
Health Information Technology Support: Support for an electronic healthcare information database and reporting systems.
COVID-19 Point of Contact or School Testing Coordinator: The individual within your school or district that will be the primary point of contact and responsible for completing and submitting required documentation and data.
Point of Care (POC) (On-site Testing): Medical testing that is performed outside of a laboratory setting.
Pooled PCR testing: Pooling samples involves mixing several samples together in a "batch" or pooled sample, then testing the pooled sample with a diagnostic test. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested using the same amount of resources. For example, four samples may be tested together, using only the resources needed for a single test. A positive result within this pool would result in each sample testing individually again.
PCR Test: PCR Tests use a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to identify the viral genetic material of COVID-19. This genetic material can be detected while a person is actively infected and also after the acute illness.
Premier Medical Group (PMG): The Full-Service Testing Provider that NM DOH has contracted with for this grant.
Rapid Antigen Testing: A rapid antigen test can be administered for individuals with or without COVID-19 symptoms. This test involves collecting nose and throat secretions via nasopharyngeal swab and then examining them for protein fragments specific to the COVID-19 virus. While these tests provide quick results—within 15 minutes—they are generally considered to be less accurate than PCR tests.
School Award: Direct support for your testing and screening program, including reimbursement for your CLIA Waiver licensing fee, biological waste management service fees, required equipment and other related costs.
Simple Reports: The state reporting system for COVID-19 results. Schools implementing their own Point of Care tests must report all positive and negative results within 24 hours.
Standing Order: A document issued by the NM DOH that permits a school to implement on-site testing, provided they have completed the applicable items in the PoC Readiness Checklist.