Covid-19 Testing for K-8 Schools, Underserved Communities, and Congregate Settings


Operation ET testing extended through December 31st, 2022.

Free COVID-19 Testing Now Available to Every Student, Teacher, Staff Member in K-8 Schools & Individuals in Underserved Communities & Congregate Settings

PerkinElmer has been selected by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD) to expand testing opportunities for K-8 schools, underserved communities, and congregate settings, such as homeless shelters in the Western U.S. that includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.

Learn which federal resources are available to support school COVID-19 screening testing.


PerkinElmer’s easy-to-use solution simplifies the entire testing procedure including school on-boarding, child and staff registration, test ordering, sample management, and delivery of results.

Collect Test Specimen

Collection is quick & easy!

Ship Specimen to Lab for Testing

Sample collection devices are packaged for easy return to a regional testing lab.

Receive Your Results

Results are delivered within 48-hours of specimen shipment.

Ensuring the Accuracy of the COVID-19 Testing

PerkinElmer’s COVID-19 testing program greatly reduces the logistical burden on schools, underserved communities, and congregate settings in the western US, allowing them to easily and efficiently test their students, teachers, and staff for the Coronavirus. Sample collection using anterior nasal swabs is an easy process, students can swab their nostrils themselves under supervision. Sample barcodes are used to ensure the samples are tracked accurately. After the collection process, samples are shipped to our network of laboratories where highly trained laboratory staff process and report the COVID-19 test results.  This process ensures the highest standards are maintained throughout the testing process.

Case Study: Screening of Asymptomatic Individuals to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19


Increase the Effectiveness of Your School’s COVID-19 Testing Program

Frequently Asked Questions for No Cost COVID-19 Testing for Schools and Congregate Settings

Q: What type of test will be administered?
A: A sensitive RT-PCR test will be used for testing.

Q: How is the test administered at no-cost?
A: PerkinElmer has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense to manage the Operation Expanded Testing (Operation ET) in the West region of the United States, hence through this funding PerkinElmer is able to bring testing to K-8 institutions and underserved communities at no cost.

Q: Where is this program available?
A: PerkinElmer’s no cost testing is available in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.

Q: Are 9-12 schools qualified for testing using this program?
A: Yes 9 – 12 schools are also qualified for use with this program.

Q:  What sample types are used for the COVID-19 testing?
A: Samples are collected using anterior nasal swabs by inserting the swab less than one inch into both nostrils while rotating several times against the nasal wall. This type of sample collection is less invasive and results in less patient discomfort than sampling from other upper respiratory sites.

Q: How quickly will results be returned?
A: Individual test reports will be returned within 24-48 hours. Remote locations may experience a delay in result reporting.

Q: Are individuals without insurance eligible to get tested?
A: There is no requirement for insurance in order to take part in this screening program, as there is zero cost to the individual or the institution.

Q: How often will students/faculty/staff/individuals be tested for Coronavirus?
A: Recipients of the Coronavirus screening program will be tested once per week to ensure a safe learning environment and minimize the risk to the school and external community.

Q: Can individuals collect their own samples?
A: Under the supervision of a clinical administrator, people tested for COVID-19 are able to swab their nostrils themselves. Having students or other participants swab their own nostrils reduces the risk of infection for healthcare providers. This is because sampling is less complex and can be done by the people being tested, using anterior nasal swabs typically results in faster sampling time.

Q: Do the nasal swabs used in the COVID-19 collection kits contain cancer causing agents?
A: Nasal swabs, and medical devices in general, are sterilized using a variety of different methods to ensure that they are safe to use. These methods are also commonly used to sterilize other medical devices, like bandages or needles. The sterilization process is tightly regulated to make sure that any products using these sterilization methods (like nasal swabs) do not contain harmful levels of the sterilizing agent and are safe to use.


We are eager to enable schools and congregate organizations to access COVID-19 testing at no cost and implement a screening program that works for them. Contact us at Together@PerkinElmer.com for more information