for Alameda County District and School Staff
for Alameda County District
and School Staff
Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe has reached an agreement that will provide access to screening testing services for the staff of the county’s 18 TK-12 public school districts, court and community schools run by the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) and 12 charter schools authorized by ACOE.
The agreement with California-based Curative, Inc. provides districts and schools with an option to provide testing to school staff. It is another significant step in assisting districts as they put reopening plans in place following the announcement by Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) that elementary schools (TK-6) may consider reopening across the county beginning the second week of October. The self-administered, oral-fluid swab COVID-19 tests will deliver test results within 48 hours and will allow schools and districts to test staff at regular intervals.
Screening Testing/Curative FAQ
What is screening testing?
Screening testing, also called surveillance testing, describes testing at regular intervals to monitor for positive cases of COVID-19. Screening testing of essential school staff would begin once schools have reopened for in-class instruction. Screening testing is a monitoring tool and is different from testing that may take place if a staff member or student is exposed to a positive COVID-19 individual.
Why is it important for reopening of schools?
Screening testing provides an important measure of security against transmission of COVID-19 by identifying potentially asymptomatic individuals. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive will be informed of their status and quarantined to avoid widespread exposure.
What does the state or county require in terms of testing?
Neither the California Public Health Department nor the Alameda County Public Health Department requires testing of staff for a return to in-class instruction. Both strongly recommend testing. The Berkeley Public Health Officer requires monthly testing of all staff and volunteers for schools located in Berkeley.
Which districts or schools will participate in this testing program?
The county’s 18 TK-12 public school districts, court and community schools run by the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) and 12 charter schools authorized by ACOE can participate.
How can schools other than public TK-12 and ACOE authorized charters participate in this testing program?
Other schools, including private, district-authorized charter, parochial and independent schools, may seek their own testing contracts using ACOE’s Curative contract as a baseline draft document.
What is Curative?
Curative, Inc. is a California-based company which has operational labs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Austin,Texas. Curative began testing for COVID-19 with an FDA-EUA authorized oral fluid test in March 2020 and is currently processing more than 70,000 samples per day.
What kind of test will staff be taking?
The test is saliva-based and self-administered, utilizing a swab that is moved around the inside of the mouth for 20 seconds before being placed in a tube.
How often will they be taking it?
The frequency of testing will be up to the individual school or district. The Alameda County Public Health Department is recommending testing staff at least once per month. The State of California recommends testing staff every two months.
Who pays for the tests?
Curative will bill each employees’ insurance provider directly. This provides a low-cost or no-cost option for districts. Additionally, districts may choose to use district funds to implement, enhance or expand their testing program.
How much do the tests cost?
The test varies in cost because it is based on each insurance carrier's COVID-19 testing reimbursement rate. On average, the test is approximately $120.
How will testing be administered?
Testing kits will be provided to participating schools and districts. Designated staff will be trained by Curative Labs to serve as “proctors” for the test.
How quickly will staff receive results?
Electronic results will be delivered via email and text within 48 hours of the lab receiving the test kit.
What is the accuracy rate of the tests?
Curative indicates that its tests have an accuracy rate of approximately 90 percent.
How will privacy be protected?
Will students be tested?
Curative Labs does have options for student testing. However, student screening testing is recommended but not required by the state and county public health departments and is something Alameda County Office of Education will continue to research for viable options. It is likely that student testing will be offered on a voluntary basis. We expect there will be more information to come on this issue.