Marin and San Diego Students Got COVID Testing Kits for the Holidays

With the omicron variant exploding across the United States, rapid antigen testing is in short supply. Fortunately, some school districts — including San Diego and Marin Unified — sent testing kits home with students before the holiday break.

In Marin, every student and faculty member received a kit, thanks to a close partnership between the school district and the county health department.

"We knew we needed exactly 47,000 tests,” Superintendent Mary Jane Burke told CNN. "That includes all of our public, private, independent, parochial... everyone in the county." 

Burke said she hopes everyone will take a test before they return to school.

San Diego Unified, which sent tests home with more than 98,000 students last week, is also advising parents and students to use the tests before returning from break. The district said the first test should be taken on Dec. 31, which is three days before the start of school. The second test should be taken the morning of Jan. 3 before class.

“Many students will be traveling or gathering with friends and family over the winter break, and with a recent up-tick in case rates and the new omicron variant, students may be exposed to COVID-19,” School Board President Richard Barrera said in a news release last week. “These at-home rapid tests will help all of our students and their families have greater peace of mind about returning to school safely in January.” 

That recent uptick in cases is about to balloon, thanks to the stunning transmissibility of the omicron variant. Over the last week, California has reported an average of 7,082 new coronavirus cases per day, an increase of more than 5%. The CDC said Monday that the percentage of cases attributed to omicron has jumped from 3% to 73% in the past week.


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