COVID-19 Surveillance Testing for Students

COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Information

Surveillance 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. Participating in surveillance testing for COVID-19 helps us to support students and school staff to know when to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19. Getting tested for COVID-19 when your child is identified as a close contact may allow them to return to school sooner if they test negative.

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

If students or staff become symptomatic while on campus, or are identified as close contacts, all school sites have unmonitored self-swab Color kits that can be used and dropped off at any of the following: (1) any school site on the courier pick-up route before 10 a.m., (2) any of the mobile testing sites, or (3) any central office drop-off locations from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms should not come onto school campus. Those with symptoms can go to a different site for testing, such as the mobile testing sites or central office drop off locations. 

Surveillance testing is not mandatory. All students will be able to come to school if a family chooses not to have them participate in COVID-19 testing.

Check out our frequently asked questions about monitoring and testing for COVID-19.

COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Step-by-Step Guide

Students can participate in surveillance testing at any location with a Color mobile testing unit or by using unmonitored swab kits available at school site and central office testing locations.

If you or your student has COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and do not go to school until you receive a negative test result. Symptoms include: fever greater than 100.4° F, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, headache, new loss of smell or taste, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, or fatigue. Find COVID-19 testing options for symptomatic students.

1. Register for testing

There are 2 ways to register:

  1. Register online. For student self-swab kits, please see the table below for age requirements for setting up Color accounts.
    Age of Student Who Can Create Account
    Age 2-13 Parent/guardian must create account*
    Age 14-18 Student can create their own account
    Age 18+ Student can create their own account

    * Parents of students age 2-13 years old must first start their own personal account and then select “Add Dependent” to add their child. Parents must have their child’s student number, which can be found in ParentVUE or can be requested at their school site.   
  2. Register at the testing site. Students age 13 and over can register and consent for testing themselves. Students under age 13 registering at a testing site must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Look up testing site dates and locations.

* SFUSD students at non-public schools can go to to register.

2. Find a testing site

For monitored testing:

View the mobile testing site schedule and select a location and time. Students can go to any of the sites listed.

  • Students age 13 and over do not need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Students under age 13 who registered online or previously registered in person do not need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
  • Students under age 13 who have not registered must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For self-swab testing:

There are three options for drop off:  

  • At a school site: samples must be dropped off before 10 a.m. on a day that the school has a courier pick up and before 10 a.m. Please see the weekly courier pick-up schedule for dates.  
  • At a central office site: samples can be dropped off between the hours of 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at any of the central office drop-off locations.
    • During school breaks, 555 Franklin (Civic Center) is the only location for dropping off samples for testing. It will be open on Dec. 20-22 and Dec. 27-29.
  • At a student mobile test site: Please see weekly mobile test site schedule for dates and time. 

Download a printable version of the schedule.

3. Get your results

Results will be sent to the mobile phone number entered when registering.

If the test is positive, report the result to your school as soon as possible.

If you or your student has COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and do not go to school until you receive a negative test result or until the end of the isolation period (after you have had no fever for the past 24 hours and your symptoms have improved).