Low COVID-19 levels prompt Fairfax Co. schools to drop optional screenings, drive-thru tests

Fairfax County Public Schools is trimming some of its COVID-19 testing strategies in light of the virus’ low transmission in the county.

On April 22, Virginia’s largest school system said it will no longer have optional weekly screenings for all schools or drive-thru testing at its Gatehouse Administration Center and its Sideburn Center.



Fairfax schools cited its the county’s low level of community COVID-19 spread from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one part of the reason.

The other part that the school system pointed out is the county’s vaccination rate — more than 70% of all Fairfax Health Districts residents have been fully vaccinated, along with more than 90% of students ages 12 to 17 and more than 50% of students ages 5 to 11.

Students who have symptoms of COVID-19 and need to get tested can still make use of the following resources:

  • Testing at various sites throughout Fairfax County and the state.
  • At-home test kits, which are provided on school grounds after the student leaves the CARE Room with symptoms of illness.
  • Test-to-stay program for students who are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 during a declared outbreak. Parents/legal guardians have to provide consent for students to participate.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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