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Take-Home COVID-19 Test Kits

Instructions for using and submitting take-home COVID-19 test kits

Testing to Stop the Spread

Color is partnering with your organization to expand access to COVID-19 testing. If your child received an at-home COVID-19 test kit from your school, use the instructions below to learn how to use it. The more students get tested, the better we will be able to prevent COVID from spreading in school and in the community.

As a reminder, if your child is experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, regardless of vaccination, they must stay home and wait for test results before returning to school. If your child tests positive for COVID, please notify your school and await further guidance; do not send your child to school if they are positive for COVID.

Prior to taking the test, locate the nearest FedEx drop box or FedEx office. Your sample MUST be shipped via FedEx on the same day you collect your sample. Please make sure you drop the sample off on a weekday and before the last pickup time for overnight shipping. Labs will reject any samples over 48-hours old. Visit to find the nearest FedEx drop box with Express pickup times for overnight shipping.

Testing Process

For more detailed steps, view the instructions below.


Begin the process by activating your take-home COVID-19 test kit online at


After activating your test kit, collect the sample immediately by following the instructions provided with each test kit. 


Finally, ship samples the same weekday you collect by following the return packaging instructions provided with each test kit.

COVID-19 Test Kit Instructions

View Video Instructions

Use Your Test Kit

 Step 1

Before creating a Color account or activating a kit, watch this instructional video and visit for detailed instructions on how to activate the kit.

 Step 2

Create an account using your email address at When creating a Color account, use your (the parent/guardian’s) information, then add your dependents or children as dependents on your Color account.

After creating your login and password, you will receive an email from to confirm your email address.

You must create a login and password for the at-home kit, even if you have already signed your child up for regular weekly testing at your school.

 Step 3

Log into your account at

 Step 4

Select “I’m interested in COVID-19 services.”

 Step 5

Add your child as a dependent by clicking “Add Dependent."

You will need your child’s Student ID to activate the test. If you do not know your child’s CPS ID, you can find it by checking their last progress report or report card, or on their student ID Card. For further information on finding your dependent’s CPS ID, please visit the back to school resources page.

 Step 6

Select "Activate Kit."

 Step 7

Complete the Pre-Test Survey, which asks if the student currently has COVID-19 symptoms.

 Step 8

Read the information about COVID-19 Testing, check the box confirming you have read the information, and check the box consenting to the test.

 Step 9

Enter the information about the person who will be tested.

 Step 10

Open the test kit. Take the two codes on the testing tube and enter them onto the screen.

If the barcode is entered incorrectly, an error message will appear at the top of the screen.

 Step 11

Use the directions in the test kit to collect the sample or view a web version of the directions.

Submit Your Test Kit

 Step 12

Drop your test off at a FedEx Drop Box. You MUST drop off your test the same day it is collected in order to receive an accurate result.

Find information about FedEx Drop Box locations and pickup hours at or view the map below. Make sure to drop your test off on a weekday. FedEx will not accept tests on a Saturday or Sunday. Not all FedEx stores accept tests so make sure you drop off at a FedEx Drop Box.

Get Your Results

 Step 13

Await your test result.

You can receive test results via text, email, or by accessing your account on For questions about your results, contact ReadyCheckGo Support by phone at 844-658-0388, Option 1 or email:

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please notify the school, self report to the district at, and isolate for 10 days. Please DO NOT send a child with a positive COVID-19 test result to school for in-classroom instruction until their isolation period is completely over. Unvaccinated household members of a positive person must quarantine.

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional testing resources and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the CPS Testing FAQ page.

Get Support

Support from our testing partners at Thermo Fisher Scientific and Color are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Support teams will not be available December 24, 2021 and January 3, 2022.

Phone: 844-658-0388

Get Vaccinated

Vaccines are safe, effective, and available to all Chicagoans age 5 and older. Protect yourself, your family and your community by scheduling a vaccination appointment today.

Get Vaccinated