South Bay District Offers COVID-19 Testing Before Students Return From Break

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While it's been more difficult to make an appointment for a COVID-19 test in recent days, a school district in one of the hardest hit areas of Santa Clara County is hoping to make it as easy as possible for its students.

San Jose's Franklin-McKinley School District is offering free testing for all students all week, and unlike most testing sites currently, there is little to no wait at the sites.

School doesn't resume until the week of Jan. 10, so the district is using this week to test and make sure children return to class safely.

Any district student or staffer can get tested at two different school sites and at the district office. Students and staff can test all week as many times as they want.

"We only go an inch into the nose as opposed to all the way up, so it’s a lot easier for the kids who are sometimes traumatized by doing the other test," site coordinator Robin Gonzalves said.

The district wishes it could also offer the free tests to family members, especially with recent delays in booking appointments and primarily because Franklin-McKinley is in one of the ZIP codes hit hardest by the pandemic. But the testing was scheduled before Christmas, using the same agency that does its school site testing regularly, so it's limited.

"When we come back on Monday, there's sort of more reassurance from our staff and our families that students are not infected and that everybody is going to be safe, as much as we can," Franklin-McKinley School District Superintendent Juan Cruz said.

The district will also give out home testing kits provided by the state at the end of the week.

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