SFUSD Continues to Distribute Thousands of Take Home Test Kits and KN95 Masks in the Midst of Unprecedented COVID Surge

SFUSD Continues to Distribute Thousands of Take Home Test Kits and KN95 Masks in the Midst of Unprecedented COVID Surge

Press Release

San Francisco (January 12, 2022) - This week the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is distributing over 60,000 at-home test kits to K-12 students along with tens of thousands of KN95 and surgical masks. These new efforts, combined with safety protocols as well as school-based and mobile testing sites, are part of the district’s ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while keeping schools open for in-person learning. 

SFUSD is distributing over 60,000 at-home test kits; most kits were received from the California Department of Public Health late last week with additional kits provided by the business community and the San Francisco Department of Public Health this week. Within the week every student and classroom teacher will have a take home test kit for use in the event they are symptomatic or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. 

“I want to express my sincere gratitude for everything that SFUSD staff are doing. This is the most difficult time our public schools have seen in over a century and we must work together to serve our children and families while living with COVID,” said SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews. “I also want to thank our City agencies and the business community –– everyone is lending a hand to keep schools as safe as possible so our students can learn in person.” 

SFUSD is operationalizing one of the largest COVID-19 testing efforts in San Francisco. The district has made reliable testing regularly available to students and staff since last spring. Color PCR testing continues to be available for all students and staff at school sites. 

In addition to the Color testing program, SFUSD partnered with Safer Together to make rapid testing available to the community at select school sites and district offices since Jan. 2. This mobile rapid testing will continue to be available throughout January. SFUSD is working on continuing rapid testing into February and possibly adding additional sites.

In the first week back after a two week winter break, SFUSD administered nearly 5,000 rapid tests; processed 9,977 Color self-swab test kits; and distributed 2,200 at-home test kits. 

Since returning from winter break on Jan. 3, SFUSD has had about 400 teachers out daily and the average daily attendance for TK-12 students was estimated to be around 83 percent. 

Masks and PPE continue to be provided to school sites and this week SFUSD is distributing over 73,000 KN95 masks for school staff, equal to more than a one month supply. The business community and City are working with SFUSD to procure more KN95s and KF94s so the district can keep staff equipped with daily access to these types of masks, especially those who are working directly with children in group settings. In addition to the KN95s, SFUSD is distributing over 650,000 youth and adult surgical masks and encouraging double masking per public health guidance. This week Mayor London Breed announced the City would be donating an additional 150,000 KN95 masks for staff and 500,000 surgical masks for students. 

SFUSD continues to follow federal, state, and local public health guidance and health experts have reiterated that schools have remained low-risk settings by following proper safety protocols. 

“We want our staff and students to stay home if they are sick and to follow the public health guidance. Even as cases soar, we are committed to keeping schools open for those who can be there. In-person learning offers the best form of instruction for our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews. “In spite of the pandemic, our schools continue to be places where students receive free and nutritious meals; where they learn how to play an instrument and get involved in a sport; where they have their curiosity sparked and find joy in learning; and where meaningful relationships are formed.” 

###