K-12 Testing

K-12 Testing

K-12 COVID-19 Testing

As part of the Nation’s Coronavirus Testing Strategy, the United States Health and Human Services Department has distributed 150 million of the Abbott BinaxNow rapid test kits. The state of Texas has begun receiving its weekly allotment of these tests for utilization in settings that need rapid, low-tech testing. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), in coordination with the Texas Education Agency (TEA), has been directed to ensure the effective distribution of these kits to Texas school systems to further this national effort. As a part of this project, school systems are provided with delivery of the Abbott BinaxNow test kits, personal protective equipment, product training, and support to refill supplies as available. Independent School Districts and Private Schools which opt into this program will be required to report all test results; positive, negative or inconclusive; as required by law.

You may find additional information related to the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Program on TEA’s website at: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/health-safety-discipline/covid/covid-19-support-public-health-orders.

School systems may review the number of BinaxNow tests that have been received, the number of test results that have been reported through the TxRapidTest application, and the percentage of test results reported in the tab below which reads, “Percent Reported”.  Simply click on the tab, then click on the blue button to the right, and open the document.  We are still working to resolve a number of data issues, so if your school system does not have accurate information or shows N/A, please feel free to contact TDEM at K-12testing@tdem.texas.gov.  Schools which have reported no results are not shown at this time, however, we will be updating this document weekly and should resolve the issues going forward.

Expiration of BinaxNow Test Kits

Each box of test kits has an expiration date printed on it.  Once the expiration date has passed, the box and all materials must be discarded as regular trash.  Prior to doing so, it is critical that you note the number of boxes plus any individual test kits which have expired and send an email to K-12logs@tdem.texas.gov notifying us of the number of kits discarded.  If you have test kits which will expire in the coming months, please keep track and make every effort to use those kits prior to the expiration date.  As TDEM and other state resources are focusing efforts on the response and recovery from the Winter Weather Evet, TDEM will NOT be collecting expiring test kits for at least the next month unless your school system has at least 10,000 expiring kits that you will not be able to use prior to the expiration.  If you do have at least 10,000 expiring kits that you will not use, please email k-12logs@tdem.texas.gov to schedule a pick up for those kits at least 2 weeks prior to expiration.  If you have fewer than 10,000 expiring kits, please email k-12logs@tdem.texas on or after the date of the expiration to notify us of the number of test kits that will be disposed of due to expiration.  Unused test kits may be disposed of as regular trash.  Once you notify us of the expired tests, we will show those kits removed from your inventory.  We will remove those kits from your inventory, and the new total will be used when determining the 50% or 70% results reported.

**NEW INFORMATION 03/04/21 – Abbott Labs has been approved to extend the expiration dates of some lots of BinaxNow COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits.  The extension is only for some lots, so individual testing agencies will need to check the specific lot number on the side of the BinaxNow boxes (not on individual test kits) to verify if the box has an extended expiration date.  The letter from Abbott Labs is below in the Tab Marked “Expiration Date Extension”.  Please check your boxes prior to following the guidance below.

Resupply

To order a resupply of test kits, please email k-12logs@tdem.texas.gov.  For the Month of February, resupply will be contingent upon reaching at least 50% results reported for the test kits that you have received.  This information posted below under the “Percent Reported” tab.  Starting in March, all K-12 school systems must reach 70% results reported prior to receiving a resupply.  This calculation is based on the TOTAL number of test kits that you have received during the program, and not simply the most recent supply.  At any time that you have reported the appropriate percentage of tests, you may request a resupply.  The resupply is no longer on a monthly allocation, so if you are using the kits and reporting the results, you may request resupply as needed.

BinaxNow Test Kits Stored Below 36 Degrees Fahrenheit

Of special note is new information from Abbott Labs which has indicated that any test kits which may have been exposed to temperatures below 36 degrees Fahrenheit may still be viable.  To verify this, once the kits have been thawed, conduct quality control on each box.  If the QC shows that the kits are functioning appropriately, the box may be used for testing.  If a box or boxes fails QC, please dispose of them and provide the number of kits disposed of to k-12logs@tdem.texas.gov.  Please ensure that all Test Administrators in your schools have been notified of this change to ensure that full quality control is conducted on any box that may have been stored below 36 degrees temperature.

Introductory Memo

The memo provides background on the purpose of the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project.

Testing Support Guide

The purpose of this guide is to ensure the efficient management of allocation, distribution, and tracking of available COVID-19 BinaxNow tests in the state of Texas.

Best Practices for Schools

The best practices guide is provided to give district/private school administrators, test coordinators and test administrators practical recommendations on the conduct of the BinaxNow testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a guide for frequently asked questions.

Test Coordinator Responsibilities

Test Coordinators also have a list of responsibilities that need to followed both prior-to and post COVID testing. Follow the link below to learn more.

Test Administrator Responsibilities

Test Administrators have a list of responsibilities that need to be completed both prior-to and post COVID testing. Follow the link below to learn more.

Texas School Testing Quick Guide

This document provides a brief summary of the testing process for test coordinators and test administrators.

Visual Testing Process

A Quick Visual Reference Guide for Test Administrators

Standing Delegation Order

Physician’s Standing Delegation Order for Testing

QR Code Flyer

Make your personal QR Test Code

Medical Waste Disposal

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality guidance for disposal of medical waste.

BinaxNow Distributions

BinaxNow test kits distributed to school systems, test results reported by school system, and percent reported through the TxRapidTest application.

Expiration Date Extension