In order to quickly test students who develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 over the course of the day and thereby enable as many students as possible to continue attending class in person, rapid screening tests have been made available in all preschools and elementary schools in Québec.
Even though rapid tests have been deployed in the schools, if a child presents symptoms associated with COVID-19 before going to school, it is essential that they be kept at home. They must then be tested at a screening centre. Go to the COVID-19 Screening Platform to locate the nearest screening centre and make an appointment. In case of doubt, the self-assessment tool is available to support you in making your decision.
Procedure and results
The rapid screening tests involve taking a simple nasal swab that yields a result within 15 minutes. This test is administered by a person designated by the school administrator and trained. Participation in rapid testing at school is voluntary. A screening test cannot be administered to a child without the prior consent of a parent. A consent form is provided by the school.
The school administrators quickly send the test results, along with accompanying recommendations, to the parent(s). If the test administered at school is negative, the student can return to class. The student is required to wear a mask in accordance with the health measures in force. If the test is positive, the student will be isolated. The student’s parent will be contacted by phone and asked to pick up their child, who will then have to take a second test at a designated screening centre. For more information, see the Important information for parents (PDF 262 Kb) document.
In the event that a child develops symptoms associated with COVID-19 over the course of the day and the child’s parent has not consented to have them tested, no rapid test is administered. At that point, the child is kept in isolation and a parent is called to come pick them up at the school.
Testing an entire class
A new preventive measure is currently being implemented in some preschools and elementary schools, based on the epidemiological situation in their region. From now on, all students in a class, including those who have no symptoms, will be tested when one of the students in the class has received confirmation of a positive COVID‑19 result following a test taken at a screening centre. Parental consent will still be required.
Preschools and elementary schools in the following regions must gradually implement this new preventive measure:
Information and guidance tools
- Important information for parents (PDF 262 Kb)
- Consent or refusal form – COVID‑19 screening at school
Guidance tools [available in French only]
- Capsule explicative – Qu’est-ce que les tests rapides
- Capsule explicative – Qu’est-ce qu’une trousse de tests rapides Panbio
- Capsule explicative – Que faire avec les écouvillons de contrôle
- Capsule explicative – Préparer le matériel pour le test
- Capsule explicative – Faire le prélèvement
- Capsule explicative – Faire le test
- Capsule explicative – Lire le résultat
- Capsule explicative - Retirer les équipements de protection individuelle (EPI)
- Capsule explicative – Comment faire plusieurs tests à la fois
- Guide sur le déploiement des tests rapides Panbio™
- Procédure en cas de résultat Panbio positif en classe
Last update: November 26, 2021