Regular testing of unvaccinated students and staff who have no symptoms is an important safety layer to help protect school communities, especially when paired with important prevention measures such as masking. Regular screening testing allows cases to be caught early before they can lead to the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about school testing from the California COVID-19 Testing Task Force.

SMCOE helped distribute COVID-19 test kits to public school districts and charters for testing of students during the first week of school in January 2022.

Testing Resources

For Districts and Schools

CDPH School Testing Framework (released July 12, 2021): Find resources from the California Department of Public Health on implementing COVID-19 testing in your schools. CDPH provides more information on various testing strategies, frequencies, and other methods to maintain safe school communities.

COVID-19 Testing Options: Compiled by the County Office of Education, this sheet lists a few free testing options through the California Department of Public Health. Schools and districts may choose to pursue other options to test their students and staff.

For Students and Families

Testing in San Mateo County: Safe, easy, no-cost testing is widely available at County-sponsored locations, private testing companies, pharmacies, and through at-home test kits available for purchase at pharmacies and other retailers.

At-Home Return-to-School Testing: CDPH is building upon existing efforts to keep schools safe by increasing access to no-cost, at-home COVID-19 antigen tests. Tests provided through this program will supplement (and not replace) the many existing testing resources in place for school communities statewide.