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Coronado Unified School District offers free tests to students, staff before returning to schools

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Posted at 3:21 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 18:23:39-05

SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV) — Approximately 750 Coronado Unified students and staff members lined up to be tested for COVID-19 on Monday.

The district set up a testing site outside of Coronado Middle School from 8 a.m. to noon, making testing a little more accessible before in-person instruction resumes on Tuesday after winter break.

As San Diego County sees a significant surge in cases, and more are expected after holiday gatherings through mid-January, the district suggested all students and staff get tested, regardless of vaccination status.

“Safety is our top priority; for that reason, we are conducting voluntary COVID testing for students and staff,” Armando Farias, director of human resources for the district, said. “These are rapid tests, and they’ll find out this afternoon if they test positive or not.”

Farias said the district has 375 employees and 3,000 students, and right now, the main goal is keeping schools safe and open. If students test positive, they will be able to continue learning online from home starting Tuesday.

“If staff members test positive as well, they’ll have the option as an MOU that we have in place, that if they can teach at home, they’ll be able to teach from home; if not, they’ll have to fill with a substitute,” he said.

A letter from Superintendent Karl Mueller sent to parents and guardians on Sunday said in part:

“Currently there is no specific case threshold at which state and local public health recommend a temporary closure of a classroom or school. Guidance from the California Department of Public Health states that “a temporary school closure due to COVID-19 should be a last resort and considered only after all available resources have been exhausted in an attempt to preserve in-person education.”

After a rough time with online learning during this pandemic, many parents, like Myra Cotrofeld, who has a third and fifth-grader in the district, hope students can remain in class.

“It’s kind of hard to manage work and trying to teach your kids, so for me, it’s really important to go to school," Cotrofeld said. "In terms of socially being involved and learning from their teachers who know what they’re doing.”

A spokesperson for the district said the district is waiting for more tests from the state and hope those will arrive sometime this week.