Dear School Staff:
Our on-site COVID-19 testing program for employees has been a major success.
Starting with the early privately-funded test study in Bolinas in April 2020, our teachers and classified staff have set a great example. With rare exception, our results were negative, showing that following safety measures works. Thanks to all of you who participated and have lost track of how many times you have been tested in the last 13 months.Special thanks to our Health Liaisons, Liz Wickersham and Catherine Hawes for all the work it took to find providers, implement systems, get trained, supervise testing and keep up with the paperwork during a year that was already beyond busy. You really showed up for this effort. Think of all the moments when employees felt that sense of relief when their tests came back negative. We shouldn’t forget what that felt like. We are all grateful to you!
We were notified last Thursday (May 13) that our current testing company would cease providing on-site testing if the state funding stream was not renewed before the weekend. (It was not.)
- Other providers face the same problem and will not schedule on-site testing unless employees or the school agrees to pay for tests and sign contracts with them.
- All employees have had the opportunity to receive a full vaccine and nearly 100% of them have been vaccinated. (The odds of a vaccinated person testing positive are extremely low.)
- As vaccinations levels increased, sign-ups for on-site testing have dropped to very low levels.
- The health department does not recommend testing for asymptomatic employees.
- Low levels of participation coupled with the expense no longer justifies the effort it would take for us to contract with a new provider and oversee the program for the next 4 weeks.
- Testing is available widely in Marin County through other providers.
Again, much gratitude to all who made this program a success and who struggled with a wide variety of challenges to provide this important service.