Winters Joint Unified School District will be distributing at-home rapid antigen test kits to all students and staff this week in preparation of the upcoming spring break.
At the March 17 Winters JUSD Board of Trustees meeting, Human Resources Director Lisa Dennis reported that students and staff would each receive the home antigen test kits prior to the beginning of spring break on Monday, March 28. Students are scheduled to return to school on Monday, April 4.
Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE) announced on March 18 that it had received nearly 35,000 CareStart home antigen test kits from the state, and that 3,000 test kits were delivered to Winters JUSD for distribution.
On Monday, Jenny Pinedo, Director of Special Education & Student Services, told the Express that three drive-through pick-up events were scheduled at the Winters JUSD office parking lot this week. The first pick-up event was on Tuesday afternoon.
The second pick-up events are scheduled for Wednesday March 23 from 4–6 p.m. and on Thursday, March 24 from 4–6 p.m.
Families who intend to participate in the pick-up event must enter the Winters JUSD parking lot through the Taylor Street entrance, drive through the parking lot to check-in, pick up their kit(s), and exit on the Grant Avenue side on the parking lot.
Based on the recommendation of Yolo County Public Health, individuals should test three days before returning to school, and again the day before returning to school after spring break. For Winters students, the first test should be given on Friday, April 1, and a second test given again three days later.
An announcement sent on Monday from Winters JUSD said the test kits are being provided to ensure a safe return from spring break, and that “although this testing is optional, testing is highly encouraged.” Each test kit includes two tests and a letter with instructions on how to use the rapid tests, when to give them and how to report the results.
Yolo County Superintendent Garth Lewis said there is no local or statewide testing requirement to return to school after spring break.
“As students and staff might be exposed to COVID-10 during spring break, we would encourage families to utilize testing to help us keep our schools open and prevent a rise in cases,” Lewis said.
YCOE partnered with the Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency and the California Office of Emergency Services to acquire and distribute the test kits to local school districts. The test kits were provided at no cost to school districts.