Return Health COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Testing
Return to Health

Overview

Used in combination with other mitigation strategies, COVID testing is an additional strategy to support safer in-person instruction. Testing may allow for early identification of cases and exclusion from school to prevent transmission. A negative test provides information only for the moment in time when the sample is collected. Individuals may become infectious shortly after having a negative test, therefore we must maintain all other public health mitigation strategies already in practice. Testing is being provided for free on a voluntary basis to all individuals. Parent/guardian notification and consent will be obtained for student testing.

Definitions

Symptomatic testing
  • Testing used for individuals with symptoms of COVID- 19, either at home or at school. Individuals are required to stay home and isolate.
Response testing
  • Testing used to identify positive individuals once a case has been identified in a given stable group. Response-based testing can be provided for symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals with known or suspected exposure to an individual infected with COVID.
Asymptomatic/Surveillance testing
  • Asymptomatic or surveillance testing may be used for screening to identify asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic cases, in order to exclude cases that might otherwise contribute to in-school transmission. 

COVID testing is provided through the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) with testing kits processed through the Valencia Branch Laboratory. CDPH will provide test kits, test registration software, test processing, and technical assistance through this effort.  SCUSD will cover all operational costs.

SCUSD is exploring all readily available COVID-19 testing options provided through the CDPH and SCPH to ensure we have the knowledge and capacity to provide COVID-19 testing. 

Two Types of COVID-19 Testing May Be Used

1. Self-Administered PCR test 

  • Identifies individuals infected with the COVID-19 virus
  • Typically used for asymptomatic and symptomatic testing
  • PCR COVID-19 Testing will be available for employees and students.
  • Results in 24-48 hours once received by the laboratory
  • Contact school site office for testing schedule and registration link

 2. Self-Administered BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Test 

  • Identifies individuals who have an active infection
  • Typically used for symptomatic or response testing
  • SCUSD has successfully obtained a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver allowing the district to provide rapid antigen testing 
  • The rapid antigen test will be available to employees and students
  • Results are provided within 15 minutes

The chart below outlines increased levels of testing in the higher tiers due to the increased spread of COVID in the community and the higher likelihood that someone in the school community will be infected with COVID.

Testing Frequency for Education Staff and K-12 Students    

Yellow

Case Rate less than 1*

Test Positivity below 2%

Orange

Case Rate 1-3.9

Test Positivity 2 – 4.9%

Red

Case Rate 4-7

Test Positivity 5-8%

Purple

Case Rate More than 7 

Test Positivity More than 8%

Case Rate greater than 14

Symptomatic and response testing

 

Symptomatic and response testing

 

Symptomatic and response testing 

AND

Every 2 weeks asymptomatic testing

 

Symptomatic and response testing

AND

Every 2 weeks asymptomatic testing

Symptomatic and response testing and Weekly asymptomatic

(PCR or twice weekly antigen testing)**

* The case rates above are adjusted case rates posted on the CA COVID website

** Weekly asymptomatic testing assumes the use of a PCR test. If antigen testing is used, testing should be completed twice weekly.

Students or staff who have tested positive for active infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus within the last 90 days are exempt from asymptomatic testing.