District Provides Free COVID-19 Tests

In preparation for the transition to a hybrid instructional model, COVID-19 testing events for asymptomatic community members are being offered every Monday on a rotating basis throughout the 4 Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) schools.

These events provide AUHSD students and their families with COVID-19 and antibody tests free of charge.

So far, the district has held 5 of these testing events and plans to do more, including 1 on February 22 at Campolindo and 1 on February 29 at Los Lomas.

To minimize the congregation of participants at these events, those who wish to be tested must schedule an appointment online beforehand.

According to senior Dylan Gunn, getting an appointment was “super easy” and only took about 5 minutes.

To prevent transmission of the virus at the testing sites, all participants are required to wear masks and stay 6 feet away from each other, and all nurses and staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE). According to Gunn, all of these protocols were followed closely while he was tested.

Participants will receive their results 3 business days after being tested. If a participant tests positive for COVID-19, they will be contacted by a lab representative for further instruction.

According to the AUHSD Director of Fiscal Services Nick Carpenter, “These events are targeted to asymptomatic individuals with no known exposure.” Those who are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to the virus are encouraged to test through their healthcare provider or County Health.

“Asymptomatic testing is a way for people to be more confident that they do not have the virus or if they do have the virus they can isolate to help prevent the spread,” said Carpenter.

Gunn similarly sees the benefit of testing asymptomatic students as it “more accurately predicts whether it is safe to come back [to school].”

After each event, the testing lab provides a report to the school about the number of positive and negative tests recorded.

According to the AUHSD Governing Board, “COVID-19 surveillance testing of students to identify asymptomatic cases will be critical” to assess whether or not it is safe for students to return to campus for in-person instruction.

“By offering testing for the community, we are hoping that we can help reduce the asymptomatic spreading of the virus and thus lower the total number of new cases in the county. Lowering the number of new cases will not only make our community and schools safer but it will also allow schools to re-open in a hybrid model sooner,” said Carpenter.

“Asymptomatic testing is just one thing we can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The most important thing that students and community members can do is to wear masks when outside of the house, maintain at least 6 ft. of physical distancing between people from outside of their household, and make good decisions to help avoid potential exposure with COVID-19,” added Carpenter.