Free COVID tests are now available for students at Nevis School through a partnership program between the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education.

Although there have been no positive cases among students or staff at Nevis School reported in March, superintendent Gregg Parks said they are encouraging families to order the tests as recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health.

“Our communities have done a great job of keeping our schools open over the past three months,” Parks said. “Free testing provides one more opportunity to keep kids in school and participating in sports and activities.”

The MDH recommends all school-aged students returning to school, youth sports, or extracurricular activities and their families get tested for COVID-19 every two weeks for the remainder of the school year.

Testing is not a requirement but is seen as an additional measure to support the mitigating safety measures already in place such as masking and social distancing.

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“Getting tested every two weeks can help to keep our schools open and our extracurricular programs going while we do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” a letter to district families from the Nevis District Friday said.

This is how the testing program works:

  • Students or families order tests through the Vault-at-Home program. The test takes two to three days to arrive in the mail.

  • Tests are delivered to the home and students complete tests at home.

  • Students seal their sample tube and place it in the biohazard bag. The biohazard bag then gets sealed in the shipping bag that came with the test.The shipping label sticker is attached to the bag.

  • Families can send the test back via UPS or have the school district send it in for them on the same day the school conducts onsite testing.

  • Students bring their sealed shipping bag with the shipping label to school and turn it into the elementary or high school office on the following days: April 1, 15, 29 and May 13 and 27.

  • Once students receive notice that their sample is being processed at the lab, they can order another Vault-at-Home kit for the next screening day.

  • The process is completely anonymous and no record of tests will be provided to any person at the school district.