Group Contact Tracing at SFUSD

Announcement Details

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Announcement Message

Originally sent March 16, 2022

Dear SFUSD families,

I am writing to share the updated COVID-19 group tracing guidance that will go into effect across SFUSD schools and offices on March 24, 2022.

When there is a COVID-19 case at a school, SFUSD will enact group contact tracing. This approach is supported by public health officials as a safe way to manage COVID-19 and it decreases the number of missed school days for students. 

Under group tracing, close contacts are defined as those who may have spent at least 15 minutes in the same indoor space as someone who tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was contagious. SFUSD will inform staff and students through a Group Tracing Memo if one or more people report testing positive for COVID-19 at a school or central office site. 

How would group tracing affect you if your children receive the Group Tracing Memo?

  • Whether they are fully vaccinated (where they have completed their first series of vaccines and received a booster if they qualify) or not, your children may remain in school unless they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19
  • It is recommended, but not required, that they get tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after receiving a group tracing memo, or right away if they start to show symptoms. Molecular (PCR) or antigen tests, including over the counter home tests, are acceptable. If they have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, antigen testing is recommended over molecular (PCR) tests.
  • If you receive more than one Group Tracing Memo in a week from your child’s school, consider having them take another test one week after the last test they took.
  • If they develop symptoms of COVID-19, please have your child isolate at home immediately and notify their principal. They can return to school if they:
    • test negative after symptoms started (and have proof), OR a healthcare provider has provided documentation that the symptoms are due to something else, OR at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset, AND
    • no fever in the last 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, AND
    • all other symptoms are improving.
  • If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please have them isolate at home immediately and notify the SFUSD COVID Support Hotline at 415-660-9850 or You may also notify your principal or supervisor. Follow the instructions in this Positive Memo.

How has SFUSD prepared for group tracing?

SFUSD has taken the following steps to prepare for the implementation of group tracing:

  • Increased the inventory of rapid home test kits through procurement, partnership with the City and County of San Francisco and donations from the business community.
  • Reducing wait times for test results from the Color self-swab testing. Results are now usually available within 11 hours versus 60 hours during the peak of the Omicron-driven surge. 

What can I do to prepare?

As we prepare to implement the group tracing approach starting March 24, here are some steps that you can take today:

  • Register for a Color self-swab account and use these resources to find live, in-person, or asynchronous support to set up your Color self-swab account.
  • Learn about COVID-19 tests available to your child via SFUSD's testing offerings and additional citywide testing offerings through your primary health provider, the City and County of San Francisco, and other sources such as free at-home tests kits for your household through the federal government.
  • Mark your calendars. Identifying upcoming holidays and long weekends can help you plan ahead of your testing needs, including when you might need to schedule a visit to an SFUSD testing site or use one of the  at-home test kits for your child. View instructions (multilingual) on when to use your at-home test kits. You should receive a test kit from SFUSD before schools are closed for Spring Break.
  • Get your children fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if you have not done so already. Vaccination against COVID-19 remains the best way to protect against getting really sick if you get the virus.
    • Anyone 5 years old or older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. If you are 12 years of age or older, a booster dose is recommended five months after the initial vaccination series. 
    • Make an appointment to get vaccinated or contact your child’s doctor or healthcare provider to learn more.

Thank you for your partnership to make SFUSD schools safe, welcoming, and healthy spaces where our students can learn, grow, and thrive. 

Dr. Matthews


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