Parents Line Up for At-Home COVID-19 Tests Before Sending Children Back to School

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Children across San Diego County are preparing to return to class next week. For many that means taking an at-home covid test. Schools across the county have spent the last few days distributing rapid tests to parents.

“We’re all in the same boat, we’re learning as we go. If it keeps our kids safe, I’m happy to do it,” said Claire Strong a parent with a child in the San Dieguito High School District.

It’s among several districts that received at-home testing kits from the state.

Strong has tested her children at clinics, but never at home.

“This is new so we haven’t used it but the instructions seem fairly explanatory. We need to test Monday and Tuesday and if they’re negative, we can go back to school Wednesday,” said Strong

After taking the test, parents can enter the results online. The testing and reporting are voluntary.

On Saturday morning, a long line of Skyline Elementary parents lined up to get their test kits in Solana Beach. Similar scenes are playing out from North County to San Ysidro.

“Yes, it’s very important to stay healthy because it creates a chain reaction. If one of us gets sick or all of us get sick. It’s hard to provide for them if we’re all just sitting at home,” said Enrique Franco, a San Ysidro resident.

Franco has four children. He is among the thousands of parents in the San Ysidro School District who picked up a rapid test Friday. Throughout the pandemic, San Ysidro has seen high rates of COVID-19.

“My kid came in contact with someone who wasn’t vaccinated so he had to stay home until he got tested. It’s scary because what if he’s positive then my wife is positive and then my other kids are positive,” said Franco.

In December, Governor Newsom said the state would distribute six million at-home tests to California schools.

The San Diego County Office of Education received 196,560 test kits. Another 205,380 kits were delivered to SDCOE on Sunday.

"The idea behind these tests is really to put them directly into the hands of our families, so they can test their students before they go back to school and make sure that our students are coming back without having COVID-10 to keep their fellow students and our staff members," said Music Watson with SDCOE.

Watson told NBC 7 that 19 school districts will be picking up their tests.

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