Safely Opening Schools

California Department of Public Health: Bulletin 4

Released July 5, 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

New from SOS

The Safely Opening Schools team hopes that you are enjoying your summer. We have prepared many new resources for use upon return to school and testing.

To supplement the required CDPH Rapid Antigen Testing Training, SOS created 4 quick training videos. The videos address: 1. Test Site Set Up; 2. Conducting Professional Rapid Antigen Tests; 3. Inventory and Communication; and 4. Common Mistakes. They will be available on a YouTube playlist in mid-July, “COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing at Schools | June 2022 Series.”

New from CDPH

  • Also, districts may now reorder tests from CDPH to sustain testing needs in preparation for the fall. This form is not for ordering OTC tests. CDPH will be providing further information on how to request additional OTC tests.
POLICY Update 

SB 1479 (Pan)

SOS supports SB 1479, COVID-19 School Testing, an act to require local educational agencies to create and implement COVID-19 testing plans 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 the Senate. It passed the Assembly Health and Education Committees. It will be heard in the Senate Appropriations committee next.

AB 2107 (Flora)

SOS also supports 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, and has now been referred to the Senate Appropriations committee.

SB 866 (Wiener)

SB 866, the Teens Choose Vaccines Act (Wiener), would allow minors 15 years and older to get vaccinated without a parent’s consent. This includes all vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  • SB 866 passed the Senate and was amended on the Assembly floor.
vaccination

COVID-19 Vaccination

  • 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. 
  • PHI’s Latino Coalition Against COVID-19 answers frequently asked questions In a video series about COVID-19 vaccines in English and Spanish. It also includes recommendations and best practices for the medical community to reach Latino parents and families.
  • SOS is creating messages for teens on the importance of vaccinations. Check out our Instagram, and share with middle- and high-school students.
  • SOS is working with FACES Public Health Youth Corps on a peer-to-peer COVID-19 Educator program for school districts throughout California. This work has started this summer and will continue into the fall. The program prepares high school students from vulnerable communities for future health professions and trains 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. 
message from primary.health

Districts can create or schedule custom communication and can quickly and easily reach all participants to request they complete any missing registration information and sign the consent form for the coming year. Using the ‘Advanced Filter’ you can follow-up with those participants who still have outstanding information after the initial communication. 

Did you know that your test group has an embedded data dashboard, “Looker Dashboard” that breaks out your information across a number of different data points? Click this link to watch a video and learn more! 

In the News

The Safer at School Early Alert pilot program tests wastewater and surfaces to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in schools and child care centers in San Diego. The Safer at School Early Alert system (SASEA) monitors COVID-19 by testing school wastewater and surfaces. 

  • COVID-19 tests were provided to students and staff in response to detecting COVID-19 in the schools.

Omicron poses about half the risk of long-COVID as Delta.

When should you take an at-home COVID-19 test? Here’s what the experts say.

Experts say BA.5 is the one to worry about. By early July, it will be the dominant strain in the U.S. “The worst version of the virus that we’ve seen,” said Dr. Eric Topol, the founder of Scripps Research Translational Institute. 

California’s test positivity rate has grown to 13%, the highest rate recorded since January 30, and up from 10.4% the previous Friday, according to CDPH. Positivity has grown nearly tenfold since April 1, when state health officials reported the metric at 1.4%.

CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older, and boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older if eligible.

%

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.

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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.