Several school districts across the Bay Area handed out at-home COVID-19 testing kits for their students ahead of the winter break.
The message is to get tested before you go and please test again before you come back from winter break.
Meanwhile, county health directors across the Bay Area are urging people not to forget this important component of testing before and after the holidays.
At a drive-thru testing in San Ramon Friday, the line was backed up around the parking lot for hours as people try to get tested before heading out for the holidays.
Get a weekly recap of the latest San Francisco Bay Area housing news. Sign up for NBC Bay Area’s Housing Deconstructed newsletter.
The keywords being free and available and convenience like take home test kits.
“I mean back when the tests were like 100-dollars and really hard to get, that was really prohibitive,” said Alameda County resident Tina Tinbrink.
UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Peter Chin-Hong reiterated this week that testing continues to be a vital part of prevention.
“I think the only kink in the whole system is really cost. I’m looking forward to many more of these testing kits being free,” he said.
The free kits went out to parents in San Jose’s Union School District this week along with instructions on how and when to do the testing.
San Ramon School District in Contra Costa County isn’t mandating testing but is reminding students about the need to test if they travel.
Contra Costa County is providing the free tests not only at clinics or the drive-thru sites but also to take home. “We’re making them available at our office in west Contra Costa County, just because we know a lot of people have a tough time getting ahold of them, so we’re advocating for a greater supply from our health department,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.
The tests are even more critical now that that CDC said that even unvaccinated kids exposed to the virus will be allowed to return to classrooms, as long as they show a series of negative tests.