School-based COVID-19 Testing is Underway
Process supports safety and allows healthy students to remain at school
While some schools across the country are having to close completely due to high rates of COVID-19 exposure, Campbell Union School District’s mitigations have prevented that fate so far. The addition of weekly surveillance testing bolsters the district’s ability to keep students and staff safe while at school.
COVID-19 surveillance testing by Grapefruit Testing began in CUSD’s schools in mid-September, allowing schools to identify any positive cases of the novel coronavirus early to reduce its spread.
In spite of pre-planning, the process had a few bumps at the start. Leaders from the district and of Grapefruit Testing met to discuss the challenges and, as a result, Grapefruit Testing has revamped its procedures and increased staffing and schedules so that the schools can retain this valuable mitigation against spreading COVID-19.
“Our aim is to relieve schools of the health-related tasks of testing, tracking, tracing, and notifications so the staff can focus on teaching and learning,” said Dr. Richard Pescatore, Grapefruit’s Chief Medical Officer. “Testing students weekly allows us to catch COVID-19 cases early so that healthy students can continue in-person learning.”
Staff in CUSD’s schools have commented on the attendance benefits of the testing. “Students have been returning to school in 2 days instead of 10 days” because of the availability of the rapid testing.
“We share our families’ expectation that their students can be at school, safe and learning with their classmates, and are working with Grapefruit to make sure that is the case,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez.
The COVID-19 testing adds to the multiple layers of protection against the coronavirus already in place in CUSD’s schools: wearing masks, hospital-grade air filters and maximum airflow settings on ventilation systems, plenty of outdoor learning spaces, reinforcing good hand hygiene, and using seating charts in classrooms and buses to help identify close contacts.
If you have questions about Grapefruit Testing’s program or need a consent form, please contact Grapefruit at <http://www.privatedaddy.com/?q=YmlYUGxKbU94fCxHfXtTc3ZYT1xoRWoNYWFZVWV5cQ-3D-3D_713> or call (213) 900-6878.
Community testing for COVID-19 is also available. See times and location on our calendar.