Families Scramble to Find COVID-19 Test Kits for Students Returning to School

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Gov. Gavin Newsom last week vowed every student would get a take-home COVID-19 test kit before returning to school from winter break.

That is not the case in the Bay Area, where several families across the region are scrambling to find a test kit for their students.

In Contra Costa County, a spokesperson for the Mount Diablo Unified School District said the state did not send them enough take-home test kits for every student and staff member, which is why students are not required to show a negative test result when they return to school.

The district had 22,000 take-home test kits that were handed out to those who wanted a kit on a first come, first serve basis.

A similar scenario is playing out in San Francisco, where testing is not required, but encouraged.

"It's really frustrating to me that our school district doesn't have the adequate number of tests," Supervisor Matt Haney said. "It seems like they were hoping to get them from the state."

COVID testing is key to getting students and staff back to class safely after a two-week holiday break. But health experts stress, while COVID tests are highly accurate, there is a timing issue. Audrey Asistio reports.

Haney said roughly 59,000 rapid test kits from the state will arrive late next week. That's too late, says Haney, because classes resume on Monday.

"We should be testing students before they come back after a long winter break," Haney said.

Oakland families will not have a problem having access to a COVID test. The Oakland Unified School District said it handed not one, but two take-home test kits to every student. All test results must be uploaded to a school site before kids return to the classroom.

"I think this has been handled really well," said Jessica Eastman Stewart, an OUSD parent.

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