The UAB School of Public Health will continue coordinating the asymptomatic COVID-19 testing program for the upcoming school year. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, private schools and public school districts will also have the opportunity to opt in for new services including high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air purifiers, CLIA/ ICL waiver assistance, optional student rewards cards and supplemental funding for participating schools and districts as funds are available.
Aside from HEPA air purifiers, which can be requested by any school in the state, decisions on other available services are made at the district level for public schools, and at the school level in private schools. Districts and private schools are not required to opt in for all program services to participate, rather they may choose which of the program offerings they would like to utilize from a menu of optional services available.
Weekly On-site COVID-19 Testing
Through an RFI (Request for Information) process, UAB identified an official testing vendor. UAB and the testing vendor work with schools to develop a process to obtain nasal swab samples of kindergarten through 12th grade students, faculty, and staff to test for asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. Only the faculty and staff who have given consent, and only the students who’s parents or legal guardians have given consent will participate in our program. The UAB team works with schools to determine the weekly testing process will work best for their individual school environments with a goal of minimal interruption to the educational environment.
HEPA Air Purifiers
HEPA air purifiers are available to all private schools and school districts regardless of whether it elects to participate in on-site COVID-19 testing services. This program service provides HEPA air purifiers in an effort to assist with maintaining good air quality and circulation. Learn more about HEPA air purifiers here.
CLIA/ICL Waiver Assistance
CLIA/ ICL waiver assistance is available to all private schools and school districts regardless of whether it elects to participate in on-site COVID-19 testing services. This program service assists private schools and school districts with the process, paperwork and fees associated with obtaining a CLIA/ICL Waiver from the Alabama Department of Public Health to enable them to conduct their own on-site COVID-19 testing.
Student Rewards Card Program
Student rewards cards are only available to private schools and school districts that choose to implement the on-site COVID-19 testing program. This program service provides optional rewards cards to students participating via consent in the on-site COVID-19 testing program. The reward cards will contain codes designed to prevent the purchase of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives, or gambling activities. The reward cards will be distributed to participating students beginning October 2022 via USPS to the student’s mailing address provided by the parent via consent. Parents may choose opt-in or opt-out of the Student Rewards Card Program at any time. For questions regarding the use of student rewards cards and confirmation of whether a card was sent, parents may reach Virtual Incentives by calling 1-800-604-1815 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding rewards card program opt-ins, address confirmations, and amount discrepancies, please call Luxor at 864-867-6898.
School and School District Supplemental Payment Program
As funds are available, supplemental funding is now offered to private schools and school districts that elect to participate or to continue participation in the on-site COVID-19 testing program during the 2022-2023 academic year. This program service provides additional funding to private schools and school districts to assist in administering the on-site COVID-19 testing program. The third-party provider shall provide notice to private schools and school districts on how these funds can and cannot be expended. These allowable costs include labor costs associated with the COVID-19 screening testing program and the purchase of equipment related to the COVID-19 screening testing program. Recipients may not use funds to purchase furniture, for construction, or to purchase any equipment unrelated to COVID-19 testing in schools.