APS News Release

COVID-19 Testing for Student Athletes

Beginning the week of May 10, APS will begin providing daily free COVID-19 testing for student athletes. The testing is optional and will be conducted at the three comprehensive high schools with written parent/guardian consent. These efforts are put in place to prevent and mitigate transmission of COVID-19 among athletes.

All testing is free with no out-of-pocket charges, regardless of whether or not you are insured. Parents/guardians must provide written consent before testing. Results will be available within 15 minutes after the testing. For those students who test positive, a second RT-PCR test will be administered and results shared on the same day.​ Parents/guardians will be notified by email if their child tests positive with follow-up information for care.

APS is providing the free testing in partnership with ResourcePath, a CLIA-licensed and College of American Pathologists accredited molecular diagnostics laboratory.

More information on times and locations of testing are located on the schools’ athletic websites. If you have questions, athletes and parents/guardians are encouraged to talk with their child’s coach or the school’s Director of Student Activities.

Exclusion Exemption for Student Athletes
With the start of COVID-19 testing for student athletes, there may be opportunities for exclusion from quarantine based on continued daily testing with negative results.

  • When a student athlete has a close contact either from a team member or as a student in a class, the student can continue to participate in athletics and classes if the daily testing continues to be negative.
  • When a student athlete has a close contact either from a team member or as a student in a class, and the student doesn’t participate in testing, the student is quarantined for 14 days and excluded from exemption from athletics and class .

The Exclusion Exemption will go into effect Monday, May 17, 2021. Students who have opted in after May 17, must have a 5 day test waiting period before being considered for exclusion.

FAQ – Student Athlete Testing

Is the test required?
The testing is optional for APS student athletes.

What is the COVID-19 antigen test?
Antigen tests detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies current viral infection. Antigen tests are currently authorized to be performed on nasopharyngeal or nasal swab specimens placed directly into the assay’s extraction buffer or reagent. 

How is the COVID-19 antigen test administered?
For an APS student athlete, the test is self-administered test where an individual takes a swab of their nose (or both your nose and throat). Some tests may be done using a saliva sample from a swipe of the cheek. The sample is then checked for the virus’s genetic material (PCR test) or for specific viral proteins (antigen test). 

What is the COVID-19 PCR test?
It is a molecular test that detects genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

How is the COVID-19 PCR test administered?
For an APS student athlete, a long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) is recommended to collect a sample of mucus and self-administered under the guidance of medical personnel.  

What is the difference between COVID-19 antigen and PCR tests?
PCR tests detect viral RNA. Antigen tests, also called rapid diagnostic tests, detect specific proteins on the surface of the coronavirus. Antigen test results may come back in as little as 15 to 45 minutes; you may wait several days or longer for PCR test results. 

What are the other testing sites and locations?
Walk-up testing sites at Glebe Elementary, Kenmore Middle and Wakefield High Schools

Hours of Operation for Testing Sites:
Weekdays 3:30-7:30 p.m. and Kenmore only on Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 

When can athletes get daily test for a practice or game?
Student athletes must be tested before a practice/game and within a few hours of the activity.  Some schools may offer testing at lunch times. 

Who pays for the testing?
The Virginia Department of Health has provided free testing.

Why is need insurance information needed if the test is FREE?
The PCR is paid by the individual’s insurance as part of the CARES Act.  There is no deductible or co-pay.   

If you do test positive on antigen testing, how long will the Rapid Test PCR test results take?
For the APS student athlete, the antigen test results are available approximately 15 minutes after the test and the PCR test results will be same day as the test. 

If individual is tested, do they still have to be screened?
Student athletes participating in testing do not need to have temperature taken however they must answer questions. 

Can a coach get tested? 


How many positive tests would a team have to have before a team is shut down?
No definitive answer and it depends on a lot of variables. A goal of testing is to reduce intra-team transmission and quarantine may be appropriate.