The State of California delivered 132,000 COVID-19 test kits to the Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE) in Camarillo yesterday evening and this morning. The at-home kits are intended specifically for K-12 public school students as part of a program announced by Governor Gavin Newsom in December. Each kit contains two COVID-19 tests, and VCOE has received enough kits to provide one to every student in the county at no charge. They’re now being sent to local school districts, which will coordinate distribution to students and families.
The state initially intended to deliver the kits before students returned from winter break. While that didn’t happen due to logistical issues, the at-home tests remain an important tool in helping to slow the spread of the virus. “At-home COVID-19 tests are in high demand, and we’re grateful that the state has provided kits for every student in Ventura County,” said Dr. César Morales, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools. “These kits will provide peace of mind for families and support our efforts to keep schools open during the ongoing pandemic.”
Ventura County Public Health is working on expanding community testing options to handle the increased demand from school staff and the general public. The mobile testing site located at VCOE in Camarillo that had been operating on Wednesdays will now be open on Mondays as well. The days of operation at other sites are also being increased. The latest information on testing locations and hours is available at www.venturacountyrecovers.org/coronavirus-testing.
Increased testing is one of several measures schools are taking to maintain a safe environment for students and employees. These include enhanced ventilation, mandatory indoor masking, and teaching outside when possible.
The COVID-19 vaccine remains the most effective way to prevent serious effects from the coronavirus, and VCOE encourages everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated. Just yesterday, the CDC expanded the availability of the COVID-19 booster to include children as young as 12 years old. Information about where to be vaccinated in Ventura County is available at www.venturacountyrecovers.org/vaccine-information. You can find the latest information on COVID-19 and Ventura County Schools at www.vcoe.org/COVID-19.