After many delays, the state on Tuesday delivered on its promise of at-home test kits for K-12 students, but in San Diego County, the state only partially delivered on its promise, with half of its allotted amount being delivered in the afternoon.
On Dec. 22, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state would have 6 million tests for California students as they headed back to campuses after winter break.
The state blamed the delay, in part, on "unprecedented storms the country has seen over the last two weeks."' The 200,000 home kits shipped to San Diego, however, are better than nothing, and late, of course, is better than never.
The SDCOE serves 42 K-12 school districts and about 500,000 students.
“We’re really happy we've gotten a partial allocation," San Diego County Office of Education' chief of staff Music Watson said on Monday. "It was very frustrating to know families were out there wanting them and we didn't have them to give. Unfortunately, we didn't get a full allocation, so we are working with the state to understand when we will get more kits, and we will get those out to schools just as soon as we can."
Poway Unified School District spokesperson Christine Paik said the delivery was "is still beneficial because we have people who might have been exposed this past New Year's weekend ... and if we have tests available for our families, that's great news. So I'll be excited when those tests actually show up at our schools."
Some districts, like the San Diego Unified School District, received at-home rapid tests from the state early enough that students were sent home before the winter break with the testing supplies.
"California preemptively sent approximately 2 million at-home COVID tests to 3,000 schools across the state, and many schools sent students home from Winter break with COVID tests in hand," the CDPH said.
About 98,000 students within the SDUSD district received two kits that were to be taken before Monday's return to school.
The county office of education has notified districts and charter schools that the tests have arrived. Depending on when they respond, the county will give out the tests on a first come, first served basis — a necessity since the county received half its allocation. Officials said distribution to districts and charter schools as soon as Wednesday.
After that, it's up to the districts and charter schools to give out the tests to students.