Unvaccinated staff no longer required to undergo COVID-19 testing

At-home antigen tests and testing sites will still be available


Jason Chu and Lillian Wang

The California Department of Public Health announced that it would be ending its COVID-19 testing mandate for unvaccinated individuals in high-risk settings on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Starting Sept. 17, unvaccinated and under-vaccinated MVHS staff members will no longer be required to take weekly tests.

CDPH director Tomás Aragón explains that weekly testing is not as effective “as it [was] earlier in the pandemic due to the more infectious Omicron variants.” He adds that enough people in workplace settings are vaccinated or eligible for vaccination to mitigate most of the risks posed by COVID-19. 

Although FUHSD will continue to provide at-home antigen tests to students and staff and the Cupertino Union School District offers a community testing site, English teacher Jireh Tanabe explains that she would prefer the weekly tests to continue, as COVID cases are still occurring at MVHS. 

“I wish we had [the tests] available so that the community could feel a little bit more insulated from COVID,” Tanabe said. “[And I wish we had them so] that teachers, kids [and] athletes could feel safer about this.”

Tanabe acknowledges that the price of the tests would have made it difficult for schools to continue providing weekly testing. However, she plans to stay cautious and be “super careful about what [she] brings home” from school, as she doesn’t want to put her children or family at risk. 

“When I think about how much testing we are able to get and have gotten, it makes me feel very fortunate to have had it up to this point,” Tanabe said.