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Some school districts still without at-home test kits

At home covid test
Posted at 5:05 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 20:23:52-05

(KGTV) — Some local school districts are still waiting to receive their shipment of at-home COVID-19 testing kits from the state. The kits are part of the state's plan to get as many students as possible tested after winter break.

Not including charter schools, there are 17 school districts that have not received any at-home test kits from the County's Office of Education or the state, which has left many to get creative.

Those at South Bay Union School District say they were prepared for the worst.

"Unfortunately often times we cannot count on the state or the county to do what is right by us and our students," states Board President with South Bay Union School District, Marco Amaral. "So we have to mitigate that by foreshadowing and being proactive in our policies and what we do."

The district is holding testing sites until Monday, using their own test kits. Board President Amaral, hopes that come Tuesday, the first day of school, the at-home test kits for their students will finally arrive.

"There are things being done incorrectly and who suffers at the end of the day?" questions Amaral. "Our students."

South Bay Union along with roughly 16 other school districts did not recieve their first allocation of test kits from the state, which was then given to the County's Office of Education.

Among them is Oceanside Unified District, which expanded its testing sites all week. They plan to continue their normal testing site schedule even after the first day of school, as they monitor the rise in covid cases nationally.

Lemon Grove School District, which returned to the classrooms this week, had experienced just that.

"We had been averaging prior to winter break maybe one or two cases per school site coming out positive," shares Superintendent Erica Balakian. "We are getting positive case rates back of 10 to 15 kids per testing round. So that's a pretty dramatic increase."

The Lemon Grove School District has free weekly testing at all school sites that parents must opt into if they would like their child to partake. Superintendent Balakian with Lemon Grove shares her frustrations about districts like hers not being prioritized like others who already received the at-home test kits.

"I thought it would have been prudent even if we didn't get all of the tests, to prioritize those to communities where we have high case rates," explains Superintendent Balakian. "Or we have families who can't afford to go to CVS for a test kit, or they have to work and don't have time to wait in line at a free county test line to get tested."

Borrego Springs Unified said they have seen the highest number of cases ever recorded when school returned this week.

Lakeside has also seen an increase in positive cases and a roughly 25 percent decrease in attendance.

The state said Friday that roughly 400,000 test kits are en route to San Diego. The County Office of Education said they do not know when or how many test kits they will receive.