PCS Testing Site Information and Tips
To make COVID testing easy and accessible for students and staff, Petaluma City Schools (PCS) offers both PCR and professionally-administered rapid antigen tests at the PCS District Office located at 200 Douglas Street, Petaluma, CA 94952. The PCS COVID testing site is open every day that school is in session. No appointments are necessary. Please note, testing hours have changed for summer.
If you are interested in taking advantage of this free service, please review the information below and follow these important steps.
Step 1: Register on our testing platform.
We have partnered with Color to expand our testing capabilities to offer professionally-administered rapid antigen testing in addition to PCR testing. Even though you may have previously registered on the Color platform for PCR testing through PCS, a NEW registration with your consent and HIPAA authorization is required for professionally-administered antigen testing.
Please be sure to use the appropriate link on this page to register on our testing platform. The links here have been provided to us by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for our school district. Please do not go directly to “color.com” to register. If you register directly on color.com, your registration may not be recorded on our district testing platform.
You will only need to register one time and it should take you no longer than 10 minutes. You do not need to register with “Color” each time you wish to get tested.
FOR PCS STUDENTS/MINORS: Register your student here
- Parents/guardians, when you click on the link above, you are registering on behalf of your student(s) so please be sure to enter your student’s information (not your own) in the testing system. A parent or guardian must register any minor under 18 years old, so please be sure to use the appropriate link when registering. We cannot offer testing without parent or guardian consent and HIPAA authorization to share the results with the school and district.
FOR PCS STAFF: Register for staff testing here
About the registration process
All questions included in the registration process are required for California state public health reporting, but not all of the questions require you to provide an answer in order to complete the registration process.
You will be asked to provide insurance information, including Group ID. You may want to have that accessible before registering. Please note this program is free for all employees and students. No uninsured employee or student will be denied access to a test.
When you get to the page that states, "Next step: Visit the testing site", you have successfully completed the registration process and there are no additional registration steps.
Step 2: Get tested.
Petaluma City Schools District Office
200 Douglas Street, Petaluma CA 94952 (Directions to District Office)
The testing site is on the left-hand side of the building if you're looking at the main entrance, past Keny's Doughnuts, and to the right of the Board Room.
Summer Testing Hours: Monday - Friday (except school holidays), 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. No appointment necessary.
IMPORTANT: PCR and Professionally-administered antigen tests will be offered between 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m only.
Types of COVID tests available
We offer two types of COVID-19 diagnostic tests at the District Office that can show if you are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Molecular tests, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests which detect the genetic material of the virus.
- PCR tests are the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. Positive results are highly accurate and considered confirmatory and are generally more accurate than at-home tests. PCR tests can be used in all scenarios (e.g. exposure, symptomatic) but should not be used to end isolation on or after Day 5 after testing positive or when you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
- Antigen tests, often referred to as “rapid tests”, detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus.
- We offer professionally-administered rapid tests. As a reminder, if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, only results from a PCR test or a professionally-administered rapid antigen test are acceptable to clear your return to school or work.
- We distribute over-the-counter (OTC, or “at-home tests”) while supplies last as a precautionary measure. Results from these tests are not acceptable when you are experiencing symptoms.
If you have any questions about what type of test you may need based on your individual circumstances, please refer to page 16 of the PCS Student & Family Handbook for COVID-19 Safety.
- The test is a comfortable anterior nasal (AN) swab that your student can easily self-administer. Parents are also welcome to assist their child if preferred. The testing site at the district office will not have a nurse on hand to assist with testing.
- Please remain socially distanced (6+ feet) from others at all times while visiting the testing site.
- Symptomatic individuals should stay in their car. There is limited parking available in front of the testing site for those individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Site staff will be happy to assist with verbal instructions or answer questions from outside the vehicle while 6+ feet away.
Step 3: Test Results - Review and report results.
How you will get results
When results are available, Color will notify patients through SMS and/or email (using the mobile phone number and/or email provided through the registration process) that results are available regardless of whether you received a PCR or professionally-administered rapid antigen test.
If you receive a positive test result, please be sure to report the result to your school or work site immediately. Students should use the COVID Test Results Form for their school to report results. Staff should use the COVID Test Results form provided by Human Resources.
For PCR tests: You will use date of birth and the barcode number associated with the sample of the individual who got tested (which will be provided on a take-away card that we will give you) to access the results through Color’s HIPAA compliant website. If you lose the Color barcode for your test, you can call the Color support hotline. Patients can also access results by clicking on the link from their email or text notification.
Types of results
The potential results that you will receive after taking a test:
- For both PCR and Antigen Tests: A positive test result means that the COVID-19 virus was detected in your specimen → Please self-isolate and report your test results to your school site right away.
- For both PCR and Antigen Tests: A negative test result means that COVID-19 virus was not detected in your specimen at the time of your test → Please provide your negative test results to your school site to return to school after an absence due to symptoms.
- An inconclusive or invalid test result means that test results could not be classified as either positive or negative. Unsatisfactory results are issued for invalid or failed samples. → Please alert your school site and PCS is happy to help coordinate another test.
- For PCR Tests Only: A “presumptive positive" result means that the test was not able to confirm with adequate certainty that the sample has SARS-CoV-2 RNA present. It indicates that you had a marginal trace of the COVID-19 virus in your specimen. This may mean you are either very early in your COVID infection and the amount of virus is just beginning to rise, or you are later in your COVID infection and the overall amount of virus is declining. It could also mean you are infected with COVID, but the sample that was taken for testing only captured a minimal amount of the virus when swabbing. → In this case, you should self-isolate, report the result to your school site, and get re-tested.
When you will get results
Results from professionally-administered rapid antigen tests will be delivered via text and/or email within 30 minutes after the test was administered.
PCR tests administered before 12:00 p.m will be sent for overnight delivery to the lab for processing. The lab will provide test results via text and/or email 24 - 48 hours after receiving the sample. For example, a test administered on Monday morning will arrive at the lab on Tuesday morning. In this example, results may be delivered anytime between Tuesday and Thursday. PCR tests will not be available in the afternoon.
The lab operates 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, so results may be delivered overnight and on weekends. Please be sure to monitor texts and emails for results delivered overnight.
It is very important that you please report positive test results to your school site right away.
If you have any questions, or if we can offer any support with testing, please contact email@example.com or call the PCS COVID-19 Information Line at 707-778-4626 and a member of the COVID team will be happy to assist you.