San Francisco wants students tested before their return, but kits are hard to find : NPR

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Dad and mom in San Francisco say they cannot discover COVID exams in time for varsity to restart after the winter break. The college district is strongly encouraging testing earlier than college students return on Monday.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
We’re getting into a tense weekend for lots of households throughout this nation. Many are alleged to have children return to high school as quickly as Monday or just a few days after that. The primary query is, will college actually open? The second query is, can children get a coronavirus check, as many faculties do require? Azul Dahlstrom-Eckman studies from KQED in San Francisco.
AZUL DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN, BYLINE: When Cari Cymanski took her first grader to get examined earlier this week, she discovered the positioning closed. She checked her cellphone.
CARI CYMANSKI: Drop-in had exceeded capability for the day, and there have been not any drop-in exams accessible.
DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: The next day, she discovered one other web site had closed early. The following day, when she discovered an open web site, there was a protracted line, and it was raining.
CYMANSKI: I used to be with out an umbrella or a rain jacket for my children, and I used to be unwilling to attend in a God-knows-how-long a line within the freezing rain.
DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: Dad and mom and academics have been more and more annoyed about what they are saying is an insufficient plan to check schoolchildren earlier than the beginning of the brand new time period. Throughout the break, on December 22, California Governor Gavin Newsom introduced check kits can be offered to each pupil within the state earlier than courses resume. However these check kits nonetheless have not arrived.
Laura Dudnick is the spokesperson for the San Francisco Unified Faculty District. She says they’re anticipated to indicate up someday subsequent week on the earliest, after courses are set to start.
LAURA DUDNICK: So proper now, we’re mobilizing shortly to coordinate how we will distribute these kits with the restricted staffing sources that we have now.
DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: The one district-specific testing provided earlier than courses begin is that this Sunday. However throughout the bay in neighboring Oakland, the varsity district despatched college students house with check kits to make use of over the break. That is one thing that San Francisco may’ve carried out, too, says Cassondra Curiel, president of the United Educators of San Francisco, a union that represents college employees.
CASSONDRA CURIEL: Oakland had a plan. They already had the check kits. They usually applied their plan.
DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: Curiel is nervous that with out satisfactory testing, this coming Monday may develop into a mass publicity occasion in San Francisco colleges. However the check kits in Oakland aren’t amongst these promised by Governor Newsom. Michelle Smith McDonald with Alameda’s Workplace of Schooling says these exams are a part of an earlier effort by the state to develop testing.
MICHELLE SMITH MCDONALD: Oakland acquired their exams earlier than the break as a result of they have been a part of the pilot.
DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: The San Francisco Division of Public Well being stated in an announcement that in-person studying is secure and that colleges have remained low-risk settings by following correct security protocols, equivalent to social distancing and masking.
For NPR Information, I am Azul Dahlstrom-Eckman in San Francisco.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNWED SAILOR’S “JEALOUS HEART”)

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