A South Bay school district is making a big request of its families to help stop the spread of COVID.
The Alum Rock School District is preparing to host vaccine clinics for all students 5 and up on the assumption that the vaccine will soon be approved for that group. The district starting Monday will ask parents to let them begin testing every student for COVID once per week.
"We want to make sure we contain COVID," Superintendent Dr. Hilaria Bauer said. "We have to win the race. We have to say no more. We have to eradicate it."
Bauer said the district is teaming up with Concentric Medical Group for the weekly testing. Parents will need to opt-in to the plan.
The hope is most families will opt-in on the plan. Bauer said the goal is not only to catch new cases as soon as possible, but also to identify asymptomatic cases among fully vaccinated students so they do not unknowingly spread the virus.
"Our children are our treasure and we want to make sure that we catch anything and everything on time," Bauer said.
Parent German Guillen said it's a good idea in case his child's friends infect him. But other parents still need a lot of convincing.
"Not right now," parent Regina Lopes said. "I'm not going to have them tested."
Parent Sylvia Baker said she is uncomfortable have her child tested weekly.
"I think it would cause her anxiety," Baker said.
The state health department calls COVID-19 testing in K-12 schools a valuable tool and plans are now in the works for the Alum Rock School District to go a step further.
"I'm very excited that the County of Santa Clara has already reached out to us about setting up vaccination clinics for children," Bauer said. "So I hope parents are going to support us by allowing that to happen."
The goal is to have those clinics in place by the end of this month or early November so they are ready to start giving shots the moment the vaccine is approved for younger children.