Home Rapid Test Kits

Home Test Kits for Midwinter Recess

To keep our school communities safe after the midwinter recess, we strongly encourage all students to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to school on February 28, regardless of vaccination status. Your child can test through a PCR, lab-based rapid test, or a home test kit. Your child will come home with two COVID-19 home tests, which may be packaged in one box or two.

When should my child take the tests?

  • First test on February 26: Please help your child take one of the COVID tests provided on the evening of Saturday, February 26.
  • Second test on February 27: Please help your child take the second test 24 hours later, on the evening of February 27.
  • If your child tests negative and feels well, they should come to school on Monday, February 28.
  • Please note, if your child has recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they do not need to take a test and should attend school on Monday, February 28, if they are feeling well.

What should I do if my child tests positive on one of the tests?

  • Kindergarten and older: Please inform your school and isolate your child for five days. Your child may return to school on the sixth day if they have no symptoms or their symptoms are improving (including being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication) and your child can wear a well-fitting mask while at school through the tenth day after their positive test.
  • Pre-K and younger: please inform your school/program school and isolate your child for ten days. Your child may return to school/program after the tenth day.
  • For all ages:
    • Please remember that if your child tests positive, your child is entitled to asynchronous learning and Office Hours for the duration of your child’s isolation period.
    • Please refer to our COVID-19 Guidance Charts, available at: schools.nyc.gov/2022Health, for additional steps to take if your child tests positive.

COVID-19 Exposure at School for Students in Kindergarten and Above

Beginning January 3, schools will distribute free, take-home COVID-19 rapid test kits to any student (in grades kindergarten or higher) or any staff who exhibit COVID-like symptoms or have been in a classroom where a positive case has been identified.

  • If your child was exposed to COVID-19 at school, please help your child take the first test on the day they receive the home test and help your child take the second test five days after exposure or at the first indication of symptoms.
  • Your child may continue to attend school as long as your child receives negative test results and does not experience any symptoms of COVID-19. Please ensure your child wears a well-fitting mask to school on Days 6 through 10 after exposure while at school. 
  • If your child has COVID-like symptoms or feels ill before the fifth day, please have your child isolate and take the second home test immediately.
  • If your child tests positive on either home test, your child must isolate for at least five days following the first positive result. Please contact your child’s school immediately to inform them and for further guidance.

COVID-19 Exposure at School for Students in Pre-K and Below

All children sharing early childhood classroom space with an individual that tests positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days if exposed to that individual during their infectious period.

However, beginning January 31, children ages 2 and up who are exposed to COVD-19 at school will receive a home test kit. Families may choose to use these home test kits to test out of quarantine and have your child return to school early.

  • If your child is in an early childhood class and was exposed to COVID-19 at school, please quarantine your child for five days.
  • If your child has COVID-like symptoms or feels ill before the fifth day, please have your child isolate and take a home test immediately.
  • If your child has no symptoms, please help your child take the first test on Day 4 and the next test 24 hours later.
  • If your child receives negative test results and does not experience any symptoms of COVID-19, your child may return to school on Day 6. Please ensure your child wears a well-fitting mask to school on Days 6 through 10 while at school.
  • If your child tests positive on either home test, your child must isolate for ten days following the first positive result. Please contact your child’s school immediately to inform them and for further guidance.

COVID-19 Symptoms at School (Students of Any Age)

If your child had symptoms of COVID-19 at school, please help your child take the first test immediately and help your child take the second test 24 hours later. Additionally, beginning January 10, schools with 3-K and Pre-K programs will distribute these take home kits to any 3-K or Pre-K student who exhibits COVID-like symptoms.

  • Your child may not attend school until they receive negative results on both of these home tests taken within 24 hours of each other and have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication OR if your child receives a negative test result from a PCR COVID test.
  • If your child tests positive on a take-home test, you should immediately report it to the school and ensure your child begins isolating.
    • Children in Kindergarten and up who test positive must isolate for five days.
    • Children in Pre-K and below who test positive must isolate for ten days.
    • After completing the isolation period, your child does not need a negative test to return to school.

Please note that children who have recovered from a confirmed case of COVID within the past 90 days should not receive at-home test kits following exposure.

Home Rapid Test Kit Instructions

All home COVID-19 rapid test kits come with printed instructions, please follow these instructions when administering the test.

You can also check your test kit and watch a video on how to use your test kit

For additional information, you can also visit the manufacturer’s websites.

Test kit translated resources

Please note that the following documents and videos were not prepared by the Department of Education and the Department of Education is not responsible for content or translated content.

ACON Flowflex home kit instructional videos with subtitles

iHealth home kit instructional videos with subtitles (except for Spanish)

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