COVID-19 Testing Among US Children, Parental Preferences for Testing Venues, and Acceptability of School-Based Testing

Chloe A. Teasdale, Luisa N. Borrell, Yanhan Shen, Spencer Kimball, Michael L. Rinke, Madhura S. Rane, Sarah Kulkarni, Sasha A. Fleary, Denis Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: Testing remains critical for identifying pediatric cases of COVID-19 and as a public health intervention to contain infections. We surveyed US parents to measure the proportion of children tested for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, preferred testing venues for children, and acceptability of school-based COVID-19 testing. Methods: We conducted an online survey of 2074 US parents of children aged ≤12 years in March 2021. We applied survey weights to generate national estimates, and we used Rao–Scott adjusted Pearson χ2 tests to compare incidence by selected sociodemographic characteristics. We used Poisson regression models with robust SEs to estimate adjusted risk ratios (aRRs) of pediatric testing. Results: Among US parents, 35.9% reported their youngest child had ever been tested for COVID-19. Parents who were female versus male (aRR = 0.69; 95% CI, 0.60-0.79), Asian versus non-Hispanic White (aRR = 0.58; 95% CI, 0.39-0.87), and from the Midwest versus the Northeast (aRR = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.63-0.91) were less likely to report testing of a child. Children who had health insurance versus no health insurance (aRR = 1.38; 95% CI, 1.05-1.81), were attending in-person school/daycare versus not attending (aRR = 1.67; 95% CI, 1.43-1.95), and were from households with annual household income ≥$100 000 versus income <$50 000-$99 999 (aRR = 1.19; 95% CI, 1.02-1.40) were more likely to have tested for COVID-19. Half of parents (52.7%) reported the pediatrician’s office as the most preferred testing venue, and 50.6% said they would allow their youngest child to be tested for COVID-19 at school/daycare if required. Conclusions: Greater efforts are needed to ensure access to COVID-19 testing for US children, including those without health insurance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-369
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • COVID-19
  • children
  • pediatric testing
  • school-based testing
  • testing venues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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