San Diego Unified students to receive At-home Rapid Antigen COVID-19 test kits

For use during winter break
Posted at 4:14 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 19:46:26-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - COVID-19 testing will be much easier for San Diego Unified School District students returning from winter break in a couple of weeks. This week, every student in the district will receive a free At-home test kit from the California Department of Public Health.

Every week, students at Gage Elementary School take a rapid antigen test before class.

"They know the value and wearing a mask, and they get tested every Monday, and they're totally fine with it," mother of Summer and Hudson, Lauren Shields, said. "We're just so happy to be back at school this year that it's worth it."

This week, all 98,000 students at San Diego Unified will be taking home the same At-home Rapid Antigen test kits.

"With the holidays, all the experts are anticipating another spike," SDUSD Executive Director of Nursing and Wellness Susan Barndollar said.

Though not required, the district wants each student to use the first test three days before the start of the winter session, on December 31, 2021. They recommend the second one be taken on the morning of the first day of school, on January 3, 2022.

"If they have a positive test result, we don't want them to come to school," Barndollar said.

Following a positive result, the district advises parents to confirm the result with another test, report the result, and connect with the appropriate resources.

Unlike earlier versions of similar tests, these swabs do not have to seemingly reach your child's brain to be accurate.

"It's just slightly up in the nose. Not even a quarter of an inch, and it just needs to be moved around 15 times and then change to the other nostril," Barndollar said.

Shields said the tests do not bother her children. Maybe just a little tickle. She said having the kits at home gives her peace of mind, knowing that her family is healthy.

"It's a great way to start off the year and start on the right path and have everyone stay in school," Shields said.

Using the At-home tests and reporting the results are not required but highly recommended. If families want more tests, many of the district's testing centers will remain open throughout the winter break.