By Dina Kupfer

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A COVID-19 testing program is underway in Twin Rivers Unified School District.

School districts across the state are doing everything they can to keep their students and staff safe during the pandemic.
Twin Rivers Unified, which has 27,000 students and staff at schools in Sacramento, North Highlands and Rio Linda, is now offering COVID-19 tests to their employees.

Chief Business Officer Dr. Kristen Coates said the tets are free, voluntary and can be done once a month. The district has ordered 10,000 saliva tests.

Right now, the district is starting with essential workers, including those in Nutrition Services and IT.

“It’s an important investment to make sure our staff and students are safe,” Coates said.

The tests, developed by Rutgers University, are FDA approved. They are shipped out and results come back within 48-72 hours. Learning loss funds, allocated by the state, are helping to cover the costs of the tests, which Dr. Coates says are 60 cents each.

The end-goal is to resume in-person instruction as soon as possible and eventually roll out testing to students and even the community.

“When there is some clearance and we’re able to bring students back we feel like this is going to help us run our operations with good data so we can keep our students and our staff safe,” Coates said.

The Sacramento County Health Officer says the county is also finalizing a program for all teachers and other school site staff to access no-cost COVID-19 tests that will start September 14.

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