Teacher in classroom

Easy-to-use, comprehensive, turn-key program

Quest Diagnostics understands how important daily in-person learning is for social, emotional, and behavioral health. We can help you develop an in-school solution for testing and supply mitigation strategies that will allow your staff and students to continue learning in person.

Our Back to the Classroom program offers:

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Standardized protocols designed to quickly identify asymptomatic staff and students

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In-school/at-home collection kits

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Step-by-step program implementation guide

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Video training and expert support

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Educational videos and materials for parents and students

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Rapid, online results reporting

Contact us to get started

Fill out the form below to be contacted by one of our representatives and learn how we can work together to help your staff and students stay in school.

If you're a student, please contact your university directly

Our 2-step testing strategy


Weekly screening for everyone

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High-quality "pod-pooled" molecular swab tests can rapidly sample school populations to reduce the likelihood of asymptomatic spread.


Follow-up testing for positive pod results

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For confirmatory testing, members of positive pods use a home self-collection kit that is sent to a lab and tested to help determine next steps.

What is pod-pooled testing?

Pod-pooled testing refers to testing for infection in small groups to uncover any current infections. A collection of up to ten samples, in this case nasal swabs, is tested at the group level instead of the individual level. Because testing is performed on a pooled sample, testing is extremely cost-effective, and may be ideal for school-based environments, offering quick results to assess risk.

Pod-pooled testing is for surveillance only. Positive pods require follow-up diagnostic testing.

How does the program work?

Students will be instructed on how to use a simple and safe method to test themselves. They will collect their own samples via a simple nose swab. Those samples, along with those from their classmates and teachers, will be “pod-pooled” to conduct the lab tests and return the results quickly.

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Prepare your school

  • Communicate testing program to parents and staff
  • Collect parent opt-in for testing/collecting consent
  • Develop testing pods

Here are just two examples of the support materials you’ll receive to help implement our testing program.

How-to Video Grades K-4
How-to video
How-to Comic Book Grades 5-8
Comic Book VIEW
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Quest prepares your tests

  • We generate testing requisitions and labels
  • Then assemble Back to the Classroom testing boxes
  • And deliver testing boxes to school
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Collect test samples

  • Teacher/administrator instructs students on self-swabbing
  • Students give swab to teacher
  • Teacher places all swabs inside single tubes
  • Tubes collected at single point within school
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Quest processes the tests

  • Logistics pickup to transport samples to Quest
  • Our lab performs pod-pooled test
  • Pod level results made available to school
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Test results are delivered

  • Positive pods notified; diagnostic testing is offered
  • For positive cases, initiate the necessary treatment, isolation, and contract tracing protocols


Download detailed program information to learn how our testing strategy helps keep your students and faculty in the classroom.

COVID-19 Impact on Education

Impact of COVID Brochure Download


K-12 support Brochure Download

Quest is the leader in COVID-19 diagnostic testing

Quest has processed tens of millions of COVID-19 tests to date, completing more testing nationwide than any other lab. We are constantly expanding and improving our testing capacity across the country. And our fast, accurate results empower you to make better health decisions for your school.

Contact us today to begin your Back to the Classroom program.

Get Started

Explore our other testing programs

COVID-19 testing statements

  • No laboratory test is 100% accurate; the ability of a test to perform according to its specifications is subject to a number of factors including specimen handling, stability, timing of the specimen collection in relation to onset of the infection, and the instrumentation and system on which the test is performed.
  • The symptoms of COVID-19 may at times mimic other illness such as influenza and the common cold. It is important that those with symptoms are tested for the correct illness, and, where atigen testing is performed, that positive results in asymptomatic persons be sent for further confirmatory tests and medical consulation.
  • The self-collection kit is intended for surveillances purposes, and is not intended for screening or diagnostic uses subject to FDA regulation. This test should be used on a population-based level and should not be used by healthcare providers for patient care.