San Francisco educators face COVID vaccination requirement deadlines as district struggles with costs

Tuesday is the deadline for San Francisco's educators to disclose their vaccination status or undergo regular COVID-19 testing. San Francisco joins districts around the Bay Area requiring testing, but now there's growing concern about where to find tests and how to pay for them.

San Francisco Unified School District announced that Tuesday is the deadline for the district's 10,000 employees to disclose their vaccination status or begin regular weekly testing.

The district released a statement reading in part "our vaccine requirement is one of the many ways we are keeping our students, staff and families safe, and we are extremely encouraged to see high rates of vaccination among our staff."

The district said while there is some funding set aside for testing, that funding does not cover the full cost of the testing program.

San Francisco is joining other cities around the Bay facing testing complications. 

Alameda's superintendent said last Friday that ongoing testing, contact tracing and sourcing testing materials are all challenging. "We are concerned," said Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi. "We are trying to make every possible contingency plan to put into place. We wanted to add rapid tests to the protocol. Those are in very short supply now up and down the state. We can't find those."

Oakland schools confirm they are finding a shortage of tests across the state as well. And even if districts can find the tests the need, they face the ongoing costs of contact tracing.

Berkeley school board president Ty Alper tweeted his district has added 17 staff members to handle COVID testing and contract tracing and urging the state to increase funding.

Fremont schools also confirmed they've added 15 additional contact tracers in their district.

San Francisco didn't offer a lot of detail about their testing program or its costs.

Districts agree they are facing mounting costs associated with testing and contact tracing, with no clear way to cover those costs.