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New COVID Testing Protocol

Happy Friday, Ohlone Families!

Please read the information below regarding our optional on-site COVID testing and new protocol. Thank you for your patience through our implementation. As a reminder, we offer COVID testing for students every Tuesday. I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead!

Dawn
Ohlone Principal

Dear Palo Alto Unified Community,

COVID Testing is a critical part of our safety protocols and practices, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our vendors, our tests, and our labs meet the highest standard of care and quality performance. In the interest of transparency, this notice is to provide important information about concerns related to the PAUSD COVID testing program and steps to address them.

The demand for COVID tests in PAUSD is growing districtwide and we are committed to ensuring that tests are accessible to all students and staff. This increasing demand has caused, among other things, a delay in the turnaround time for getting results. We expected that test results would be available within 24-48 hours, but recently, we have seen results often take 5 or more days. This challenge is not unique to Palo Alto, and we are doing what we can to mitigate it. In addition, some results have been returned to families with an incorrect submission date. This problem is a result of mis-entered information. The tests themselves were not in error.

We continue to work with the vendor to automate the process to eliminate barriers in the process to improve our COVID testing program.

Changes to Protocol

Beginning today, staff and parent/guardians may pre-register for on-site COVID Testing by completing the link hereor scanning the QR code below. This will allow participants to register online for onsite testing and eliminate the paper registration. Please note, these links are school site specific, so if you have children at more than one site you'll need to use the individual code specifically for your child's school.

Once you have registered, the individual being tested will only need to walk up to the testing clinic and they will be able to search them by name. The lab staff will be able to immediately connect the barcode for the test sample to the online registration information, shortening turn around times for notifications. You will receive your test results through an email or text message from "Patient Connect," which is Predicine Labs new data system.

The district positivity rate remains low and despite the challenges, we are proud to offer a COVID testing program to our students and staff. We thank you for your patience and for your commitment to safety. Thriving through the pandemic requires an effort by all of us, working together to keep our school community safe.