The SOS Pilot
Safely Opening Schools (SOS) was originally thought out as an 8-week rapid antigen testing project for 10 pilot districts across California to introduce a safer reopening. The SOS project team has played an important role in helping districts throughout the state set up their COVID-19 testing protocols with rapid antigen testing.
Today, Safely Opening Schools continues by helping schools with tools to continue to test both vaccinated and unvaccinated students and education workers and providing information about resources available to keep school communities safe as they recover from the pandemic.
SOS is partnering with Primary.Health, a top pioneering software solution for COVID-19 testing, to implement the pilot, record, process and report testing results, and administer the data.
Major funding for SOS comes from The California Endowment and the Chan Zukerberg Initiative. Additional support is provided from the Ballmer Group and others through PHI’s Together Toward Health Initiative which manages a large pooled fund from a group of philanthropic organizations engaged in a pandemic response.
SOS, in collaboration with CDPH’s state public health laboratory team, is the go-to resource for key information on rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 for other school districts looking to reopen more safely in California.
Commitment to Racial & Health Equity
SOS is committed to advancing racial equity in health and education across California, and will prioritize pilots where reopening is most urgent, i.e. schools serving: large numbers of children of essential workers; predominantly Black and Latino communities hardest hit by COVID-19; students requiring special education and other special needs; and those not doing well with remote learning.
The California Healthy Places Index
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Safely Opening Schools is a project of the Public Health Institute, (PHI) PHI has been a leader in public health and development for over 50 years. PHI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a vision of creating healthy communities where individuals reach their highest potential. Safely Opening Schools is part of PHIs Prevention Policy Group, which works on policy approaches involved in safely opening public schools after Covid-19.