Should Your Child Get a COVID Test Before Going Back to School?

Picture of a brother and sister holding hands as they run to school.As you prepare for your child to return to in-person schooling this fall, one of the questions on your mind is probably whether you should get them tested for COVID-19. Certain schools are requiring that students be tested—some even on a weekly basis—so it’s important that you adhere to any specific rules set forth by your child’s school.

Otherwise, according to current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your child should get tested if he or she:

  • Is experiencing symptoms of COVID
  • Has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID, even if your child is fully vaccinated (unless your child tested positive within the past three months, recovered, and hasn’t developed any new symptoms)
  • Isn’t vaccinated and has participated in a high-risk activity, such as traveling or attending a large gathering
  • Has been asked to get tested by a healthcare provider or health department

Should Your Child Get Vaccinated?

As of August 2021, the CDC is recommending that everyone 12 and older receive a COVID-19 vaccination. So, if your child falls into that age range, you should have them vaccinated, both for their own protection and the protection of those around them.

If you’re a parent to younger kiddos, you may not have to wait long, either. According to a recent National Public Radio (NPR) report, researchers are currently studying the safety and effectiveness of vaccinating children under 12, and the shots could be available to these younger children as soon as fall 2021.

Additional Steps to Take

Besides having your child tested for and vaccinated against COVID, is there anything else you can do to keep them safe and minimize the spread of the virus as the school year starts? Here are some tips:

  • Have them wear a mask at school.
  • Remind them to socially distance from their peers, their teacher, and any other staff members.
  • Teach younger children proper handwashing techniques.
  • Train them to not touch any surfaces that could be contaminated.
  • Keep them home from school whenever they’re feeling ill.

Where to Go for COVID Testing & Vaccinations

Between shopping for classroom supplies, planning lunches, and everything else involved in back-to-school prep, you’re probably busy enough as it is. And if it turns out that your child needs to be tested for COVID, that’s just one more task on your ever-growing to-do list.

Luckily, if you live near a PhysicianOne Urgent Care center, you can rely on us for convenient COVID testing. We offer rapid (antigen) and PCR testing at all of our locations, and best of all, you don’t even need to make an appointment. Simply walk in whenever you have a free moment—we’re open every day of the year with extended hours—or if you’d prefer, reserve your spot in line by checking in through our website. We also offer COVID vaccinations at certain locations.

Click here to learn more about our COVID testing and vaccination services, or contact us for more information.

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