Safely Opening Schools

California Department of Public Health: Bulletin 3

Released May 27, 2022

For the most recent updates regarding the California K-12 School Antigen Testing Program, please subscribe to the California Department of Public Health newsletter. 

For schools enrolled in the Heluna Health rapid antigen testing program, please refer to the Los Angeles County Bulletin.

important notes

  • With cases continuing to rise, health officers across California’s SF Bay Area urge people to return to indoor masking, among other preventive measures. COVID cases and positivity rates have risen throughout April and May across California, and nationally, due to a new Omicron subvariant. In May, hospitalizations and deaths also rose. Masks and testing remain important public health tools to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID. 

  • Schools can order at-home tests now! Public, charter and private/independent schools, as well as camps that serve K-12 students are invited to apply for free at-home tests through a partnership between the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://labsupport.powerappsportals.us/cdcotc/
    • Weekly requests are due 12:00 PM PST on Fridays through June 17, 2022.
    • If you have questions regarding this program please email schoolOTC@cdph.ca.gov 
  • The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is pleased to facilitate sharing of knowledge and innovation approaches that are being generated by schools and public health professionals throughout California. Visit this link for current and previous issues including resources and tools that are shared amongst districts.
POLICY Update 

SB 1479 (Pan)

SOS is proud to support SB 1479: COVID-19 School Testing. SB 1479 is an act to require local educational agencies to create and implement COVID-19 testing plans that are consistent with CDPH’s COVID-19 school testing guidelines. SB 1479 provides a statewide testing protocol that ensures that children – regardless of their socioeconomic or racial background – learn in a safer environment. 

  • SB 1479 has passed in the Senate and now goes to the Assembly. 
  • To track the latest updates on SB 749, please see here.

AB 2107 (Flora)

SOS is also supporting AB 2107 which will allow appropriately-trained non-health professionals – who are not school employees, e.g. parent volunteers or a child’s own parent in school and/or community settings – to conduct rapid antigen tests and perform an anterior nasal swab in the small number of children who cannot self-swab, such as some children with disabilities.

  • AB 2107 passed in the Assembly. 
  • To track the latest updates on AB 2107, please see here.

SB 866 (Wiener)

Great news! SB 866, the Teens Choose Vaccines Act passed the Senate. SB 866 would allow people 12 years of age and older to get vaccinated without a parent’s consent. This includes all vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  • To track the latest updates on SB 866, please see here.

COVID-19 Variants

COVID continues to evolve and become more infectious with each new variant

See COVID Variants flyer to learn more.

    vaccination

    The FDA announced that children ages 5-11 would be eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster

    • Read more about the booster for children here.
    • COVID Mobile Vaccine Clinic pop-up events are available to all K-12 schools (public, charter and private) at NO COST to the school! CDPH will connect interested schools with a state-contracted mobile provider. The school is responsible for marketing the event to families and ensuring students show up to the event to get vaccinated. Please contact Megan.Cornejo@cdph.ca.gov for more information. 

    • SOS is working with FACES Public Health Youth Corps on a peer-to-peer COVID-19 Educator program for school districts throughout California. The program will prepare high school students from vulnerable communities for future health professions and train students to become trusted health advocates in their community to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Students will also obtain important public health certifications including mental health first aid, CPR/Basic Cardiac Life Support & First Aid, and Community Health Worker certifications, among others. 
    primary.health

    Message from Primary

    • Primary.Health is offering Back-to-School Process Overview Sessions on Thursdays, 12:15 – 1:00 pm PST Click here for Registration 
    • Primary.Health will soon be releasing two new features: 
      • Bulk negative results: Schools will be able to quickly result in hundreds of negative rapid antigen tests at a time. 
      • Vaccine upload function: Within Primary.Health, schools will be able to request students’ and staffs’ vaccination status. 

    In the News

    The federal government has announced that a 3rd round of free COVID tests are available for delivery by the USPS. This order includes 8 tests. Place your order on the USPS website.

    CDPH has developed several checklists that are available for guidance as administrators plan school events for end of year gatherings. 

    With cases on the rise, some school districts are increasing testing and requiring indoor masks for end-of-year gatherings and celebrations. For some, the testing is done by COVID-sniffing dogs.

    District Spotlight

    Oakland Unified School District 

    Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is operating successful testing programs in collaboration with multiple vendors. In addition to regular testing at all school sites, rapid antigen and PCR testing is offered on OUSD campuses to students, staff, and families through 10 Regional Testing Sites. Testing schedules are posted on-site as well as online, and drop-ins are welcome. Community members are invited to test at the school testing locations without requiring on-campus entry. These testing operations are strategically coordinated to create easy access for community members while keeping campus safety a priority. Community-serving testing sites are operational until 4:00 PM, with extended hours until 6:00 PM in the evening at a number of sites to increase access to testing for staff and families. Communication is also enhanced as materials and signage are shared in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Khmer. 

    More than 70% of the student population at OUSD is eligible for free/reduced lunch. Making testing available to this population is an excellent service to the community and a wonderful partnership in promoting the public health of the school attendees and local community.  Thank you to Mara Larsen-Fleming, Director of OUSD Health & Wellness, Community Schools & Student Services and Megan Phuong, Clinic Liaison, Community Schools & Student Services for your collaboration to keep students and staff safer in school!

    Oakland Testing
    Oakland Testing Sign

    %

    5-11 Year Olds Fully Vaccinated

    California schools have offered rapid testing

    %

    12-17 Year Olds Fully Vaccinated

    Million tests administered in K-12 schools since January 2021

    Contact Us

    Email: training@safelyopeningschools.org

    School Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm

    Data reflects testing and cases reported by school districts on the Primary.Health platform and the California Department of Public Health state dashboard.

    © 2021 Safely Opening Schools. All rights reserved. Site design by Doug Rider Consulting.
    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.