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

COVID-19 Health Screenings

Updated August 16, 2022

Do we have to complete a daily screening form before coming to school every day?

No documentation is required. However, all school staff and students are reminded to self-screen for COVID-19 before coming to school everyday, stay home when sick, and wash or sanitize hands frequently. 

At-Home Antigen Test Kits

Updated March 14, 2023

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

What is the CDPH at-home testing program?

The CDPH program increases access to no-cost, at-home COVID-19 antigen tests. SFUSD distributes tests provided through the CDPH testing program as we receive them.

When should I get tested?

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

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

Do I need to report my test results?

Students are not required to report their results. If your student is very sick: call 911, visit an emergency room, or call your doctor.

What should I do with my student's test results?

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

If your student's test is negative

  • If they feel well and have no COVID-19 symptoms, return to school.

If your student's test is positive

We strongly recommend following California Department of Public Health (CADPH) guidelines:

  • Stay home for at least 5 days after start of symptoms (Day 0) or after date of first positive test (Day 0) if no symptoms).
  • ​Isolation can end after Day 5 if:​​​​​​
    • ​Symptoms are not present, or are mild and im​​​​proving; AND
    • Student is fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication).
  • ​If fever is present, isolation should be continued until 24 hours after fever resolves.
  • No reporting to school site is required for positive student cases.

If your student's test results are unclear

  • Retest at school or at a local testing site. Visit 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 Color self-swab test kits until March 17 at school sites and March 24 at central offices. The Color test results will be returned within 24 to 48 hours (estimate based on current rates of testing). We will transition to providing over-the-counter rapid antigen tests as we receive them from the California Department of Public Health.

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. 

Non-SFUSD Testing Options

Free and low-cost testing options:

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

Color Molecular Test Kits

Updated March 14, 2023

SFUSD will discontinue COLOR self-swab molecular test kits as of March 24. The last pick-up day will be March 17 for schools and March 24 at 555 Franklin Street.

How should I register my student for testing?

Learn how to register for at-home self-swab kits.

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

Color testing will end for school sites on March 17 and for central offices on March 24.

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 their 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 and send them the student name, student number, parent email, and a screenshot of the error message.  

Where can my student get tested?

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?

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 page to learn about isolation, close contacts, and what to do if a student is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19.

Testing Policies

Updated March 14, 2023

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

Students do not need to present COVID-19 test results to schools.

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. 

What if my child has symptoms?

If you or your student has COVID-19 symptoms, we strongly recommend following California Department of Public Health guidelines. 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. View our When Someone Gets Sick page to learn what to do if a student is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19.

This page was last updated on March 14, 2023