COVID-19 Testing for Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Testing is a very important part of keeping our schools safe by caring for ourselves and others and helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Getting tested for COVID-19 when someone gets sick helps us to support students and school staff to know when to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19. 

SFUSD has partnered with Color, a COVID-19 testing company, to provide student and staff testing during the pandemic.

Testing is not mandatory; however, all students will be able to access in-person learning even if a family chooses not to have them participate in COVID-19 testing. 

Please see below for frequently asked questions regarding student testing. 

Testing Eligibility

Which students should be tested for COVID-19 at SFUSD?

The California Department of Public Health and our agreement with our labor partners requires that the District offer testing students for COVID-19 prior to returning to school for in-person learning and every two weeks while attending school in person. Testing is not mandatory, however, and all students will be able to access in person learning even if a family chooses not to have them participate in the COVID-19 testing. 

How frequently should SFUSD students be tested?

When San Francisco is in the Red tier, testing will be available to students attending in-person learning every two weeks.

When San Franciscio is in the Orange or Yellow tier, testing will be available to 20% of students attending in-person learning districtwide every two weeks. In the Orange or Yellow tier, testing will be done as a random sampling across the district. 

Testing Process

How will students be tested at SFUSD?

Before their school reopens, students will have an opportunity to be tested at one of the 4 fixed testing locations in San Francisco that will be designated for SFUSD students. 

After their school has reopened, students can either get tested on the scheduled testing day at their school, or go to a fixed testing location. Color will sponsor and staff all testing locations for students. The student test is the RT-Lamp nasal swabbing test which is administered by a clinician on site.
 
Parents/guardians will have an opportunity to pre-register or register at the testing location. Parents/guardians will only need to consent one time for COVID-19 testing for their student. Students 13 years old or older can register and consent for themselves.

Where can students get tested?

Before to returning to in-person learning, your student can get tested at their school site during the weekly testing day. Each school site has a weekly testing day that can be found on Color’s website: www.color.com/sfusd-students.

You can locate your school’s testing day and registration link by entering the school’s name in the program locator:
Screenshot with a search box reading "Testing schedule: Enter your school's name to find your registration link and testing dates:"

Before to returning to in-person learning, you can go to another school’s testing day if your school’s testing day does fit your schedule. Once your child returns to in-person learning, they will be tested at their school site.

SFUSD families and students can also:

  • Contact your healthcare provider: If you have insurance, you can get tested through your healthcare provider.
  • If you do not have health insurance, you can schedule a test at an SF Health Network site by calling 415-682-1740. Calls are answered 24 hours a day in most languages.
  • For more information visit sf.gov/find-out-about-your-covid-19-testing-options.

How can students register for testing?

Please register for testing via your school’s link before getting tested at any available location. Enter your school’s name in the search bar on Color’s website or look up your school at sfusd.edu/testsites to find your school’s registration link.
 
Parents/guardians will have an opportunity to pre-register or register at the testing location. Parents/guardians will only need to consent one time for COVID-19 testing for their student. Students 13 years old or older can register and consent for themselves.
 
Students 13 years old or older can register and consent for testing themselves. Students must use their SFUSD email address when registering–this is how SFUSD will track eligibility and results across schools. Results will be sent to the mobile phone number entered when registering.
 
For students younger than 13, parents and guardians can register their student for testing by using the school’s registration link or registering in-person at a testing site.

The student’s SFUSD email address must be used when registering. This is how SFUSD will track eligibility and participation. SFUSD emails are available to families in their ParentVUE account. 

Parents/guardians/students must also provide their mobile phone number when registering. Results will be sent to the mobile phone number. Students in high school will also receive their results to their SFUSD email address.
 

How long should it take to receive results? How will results be communicated to the district?

Test results should typically be available within 1-3 days, and will be communicated via text message and the student’s email (for high school students only). Parents/guardians should list their personal phone number when registering in order to have test results sent to them.

Testing Policy

Is testing mandatory for students?

No. All students will be able to access in-person learning even if a family chooses not to have them participate in the COVID-19 testing. 

Can students be tested outside of the District?

Yes, but the District highly recommends students who are participating in in-person learning use the District’s testing program because of the need to get results quickly and monitor outbreaks.

Who has access to testing results for SFUSD students?

Test results are shared with the student who was tested (or parents/guardians for students under 13 years old), the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the District’s authorizing nurse practitioner, and the District’s central administrator/liaison for the testing program.  

The site administrator at the school where the student attends will also be made aware of any student or staff who tests positive so they can take the necessary response steps.

Family Engagement

How will communication flow to families regarding student testing?

Each school site will send out a communication to families describing the program, where students can get tested, and when students can get tested. A reminder will also be sent to families before the designated student testing day at that school site.

Families can also contact the school to get answers to their questions about the testing program.

Do parents/guardians have to be present while their student is tested?

No. Parents/guardians do not have to be present, but, if not present, they need to pre-register their student for participation in the testing program. Students 13+ can register and consent for themselves on the day of testing. Included in the registration is consent for the testing.

Testing Positive

What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

Students who test positive will be asked to immediately isolate at home for at least 10 days. If a student who isolates after testing positive is able to, they may do school-related work remotely during the isolation period. In addition, the student will receive follow up from SFUSD’s contact tracers to identify any close contacts at school. Students who test positive are able to return to school when the criteria to return from isolation is met.