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 County Pauses All School Employee COVID-19 Testing Sites

Updated Jan. 3, 2021

The County of San Diego has paused all school employee-only COVID-19 testing sites until area school districts get closer to reopening for wider in-person instruction. 

School employees may be tested at any of the county’s public testing sites.

School employees in rural areas may continue to be tested at rotating sites in the backcountry, in partnership with CAL FIRE.

Frequently Asked Questions about School Employee COVID-19 Testing

Who should be tested and how often? 

School staff members are essential workers, and staff includes teachers, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, janitors, bus drivers, or any other school employee that may have contact with students or other staff. According to the California Department of Public Health, school districts and schools shall test staff periodically, as testing capacity permits and as practicable, with the recommendation being to test all staff over two months, where 25% of staff are tested every two weeks, or 50% every month to rotate testing of all staff over time.

What test is used? How is it done?

The county is using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test developed by Helix Diagnostics, which looks for pieces of the virus that cause COVID-19. Tests are conducted by a nasal swab and may be self-collected by the individual who is observed by a public health nurse, or may be collected by public health staff if the individual chooses.

How long does the process take?

Collecting the samples that will be tested is very quick. Most people will be able to provide the registration information and complete testing within 10 minutes, however that time may vary based on how busy the site is.

What is the cost?

The test is done at no charge to school employees. School employees should make sure the testing site is a San Diego County-operated testing site to ensure there is no charge.

How will employees prove they’ve been tested? 

When testing, school employees should ask for a receipt to acknowledge the date on which they were tested. 

Who gets my results?

Test results will be reported to each school employee. The results will not be reported to the employer.

Results are issued by email if the result is negative and by both email and phone call from a public health nurse if the result is positive.