oakland unified

At Least 12 Oakland Unified Students, Staff Get False Positive COVID-19 Tests

NBC Universal, Inc.

At least a dozen students and staff tested for COVID-19 at Oakland Unified schools received false positive results and the district is trying to figure out how many schools were impacted. 

“There’s been so many adjustments in the past year and a half, so many things that we have had to deal with, so many new developments, that we just have to roll with it,” said parent Tom Langlois

Parents at Montera Middle School received an email Monday night from the district telling them at least 12 students and staff had to quarantine this past week unnecessarily as they received false positives to their COVID tests. 

“We’re very regretful this has happened, we never want anyone to get positive test results under any circumstances.,” said John Sasaki, Oakland Unified School District spokesperson.

The district said late last week, staff noticed some test results looked a little off, and after digging deeper over the weekend.

“We determined there were more than a dozen cases of false positives at Montera, Montclair Elementary and Oakland High School. “We have PCR tests to back these things up and show negative results so in those cases, we’re telling staff and students they can come back tomorrow and get back to normal work.” 

The district said it is working with Vestra, the company that collects specimens and does data entry, along with the county and state to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

Meantime, they say parents have to be flexible, and understanding.

“I would rather there be false positives than there be an outbreak nobody knows about until it’s too late,” said Langlois.

NBC Bay Area talked to the CEO of Vestra Tuesday and he says the company is working with the California Department of Health to provide updates to the community on the false positive tests. 

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