State schools superintendent distributes at-home COVID tests in Castro Valley

With many students heading back to next week, the State of California is ramping up efforts to get them tested for COVID in order to attend class in-person safely. 

State Schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond was in Castro Valley on Friday morning where he distributed free, at home, rapid COVID-19 antigen test kits to families. The drive-through event was held at Canyon Middle School where Thurmond held a news conference. 

"As winter break comes to a close and COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the California Department of Education (CDE) is doing all we can to keep our schools safe," Thurmond said. "To this end, we are urging every eligible person to get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster. In addition, the CDE is joining with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to increase access to COVID-19 testing for our students as they return to school."

Governor Gavin Newsom announced last week that 6 million at-home COVID tests would be distributed to K–12 public and charter school students. Alameda County is handing out nearly 150,000 free at home test kits for its students

San Leandro Unified School District will distribute at-home COVID tests provided by the state "as soon as they arrive," they said in a news release. The plan is to start the process on Monday. In addition, all the district's COVID testing sites will be open next week. School officials advise students and staff who have tested positive for COVID on or after Dec. 24, or who are symptomatic, to not attend school on Jan. 3.