Monitoring and Testing for COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

COVID-19 Health Screenings

Updated Jan. 11, 2022

Do we have to complete a daily screening form when we return to in-person learning?

No documentation is required. However, all school staff and students will be required to self-screen for COVID-19 before coming to school everyday, stay home when sick, wear face masks at all times except when eating or drinking, and wash or sanitize hands frequently. 

At-Home Testing

Updated Feb. 9, 2022

Learn about the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) at-home testing program.

What is the CDPH at-home testing program?

In January 2022, SFUSD distributed tests provided through the CDPH testing program to supplement existing COVID-19 testing resources in place. The CDPH program increases access to no-cost, at-home COVID-19 antigen tests.

This was a one-time event.

When should I get tested?

COVID-19 testing is not required. SFDPH recommends usage of the distributed at-home tests when:

  • Returning to schools if exhibiting symptoms
  • Return to school from isolation on or after 5 days, and 
  • Screen after holidays, even if you are not symptomatic
  • If your student gets sick with symptoms (like cough and fever), stay home and use your tests to see if it is COVID-19.
  • If your student is exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home and use your tests on or after day 5. 

Do I need to report my test results?

Although it is highly encouraged, you are not required to report your results. If your student is very sick: call 911, visit an emergency room, or call your doctor.

What should I do with my test results?

Depending on your test results, you might need to take action. 

If your test is negative

  • If you feel well and have no COVID-19 symptoms, return to school.
  • If you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, please call your school before you return – even if the test is negative. More testing may be needed.

If your test is positive

  • Stay home and isolate for at least 5 days. You can return to school on the sixth day if you have a negative test result after day five. 
  • Report your results: Call 415-660-9850 to report a positive test result. 

If your test results are unclear

  • Retest at school or at a local testing site. Visit sfusd.edu/covid19testing for more information, including COVID-19 testing locations and schedule.

What other testing resources will be made available via SFUSD?

SFUSD will continue to offer self-swab test kits at every school site. These test results will be returned within 24 to 48 hours. 

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 on the same day at any of the following: (1) any school site 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. 

For those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come into school. You may go to the Crocker-Amazon testing site

Every household in the U.S. can order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests from the federal government. Get your free tests.

You can also access testing at locations throughout San Francisco, which includes your primary health care provider and community and public testing sites. 

For more information about COVID-19 testing, or to find a testing site near you, visit sf.gov/getttested or call SFDPH’s COVID Resource Center at 628-652-2700.

Testing Eligibility

Last updated Aug. 30, 2021

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

Our agreement with our labor partners requires that the District offer testing options for COVID-19 to students 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. 

Testing Process (Molecular Tests)

Last updated Feb. 4, 2022

How will students be tested at SFUSD?

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 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. 

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.

How should I register my student for testing?

The registration process depends on which type of COVID-19 test you or your student is using. Learn more about registering for monitored on-site testing or for at-home self-swab kits.

What happens if there is an error in activating a COLOR kit?

Parents/families will need to set up their own account first, then add their child as a "dependent." To add a dependent, you will need the STUDENT NUMBER.  Please check with your school to get the right student number (in SYNERGY and PARENTVUE as "student no").  

If there is still an error: 

  • Call COLOR support at (844) 352-6567 (Daily 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT) 
  • Email mycovidtest@color.com and send them the Student Name, Number, Parent email and a screenshot of the error message.  

 

Where can my student get tested?

Please see the schedule for monitored, on-site molecular testing.

Get an overview of the different types of COVID-19 tests we offer.

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

Monitored on-site testing

  • Students under 13 who have not previously registered for a Color account must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Students 13 years old or older can register and consent for testing themselves.

At-home self-swab tests

Student Age Account Creation Kit Activation Sample Collection
2-13 years Parent/guardian must create account Parent/guardian must activate kit Must be collected with adult assistance
14-18 years Students can create their own account Students can activate kits on their own Must be collected under adult supervision
Over 18 years Students can create their own account Students can activate kits on their own No adult supervision necessary

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.

If the number of tests submitted increases dramatically, getting test results may take a few days longer.

Testing Positive, or When Someone Gets Sick

View our When Someone Gets Sick FAQs to learn about quarantine, close contacts, and what to do if a student is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19.

Testing Policies

Last updated January 4, 2022

When can schools accept a negative COVID‑19 test done at home?

SFUSD will accept rapid antigen and PCR or other molecular tests, including over-the-counter home tests.

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. 

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.

What if my child has symptoms? Should I go to school to get tested?

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, fatigue, runny nose, congestion. Find COVID-19 testing options for symptomatic students.

Family Engagement

Last updated Aug. 30, 2021

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.

This page was last updated on February 9, 2022