Covid Testing & Treatment

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi all! 

    I've got cold symptoms and a positive Covid test after arriving home from work travel. My wife is testing negative. We have a 3 year old who hasn't been vaccinated. Our day care just told us we have to keep her home. 

    Given she has to be home, being isolated for 5-10 days will be really challenging for our household - are others doing this when one person gets a positive test? I haven't seen guidance on this online since 2022.

    Thank you! 

    The first time we had COVID (with unvaccinated kids at the time) we tried to isolate the members testing positive from those testing negative for the full ten days and then a week later the other half got it anyhow. The second time it started with a kid (we think the first time may have been a false positive b/c symptoms were worse the second time) and we just resigned ourselves - two of the remaining family members had asymptomatic cases and the other never tested positive. I know there's some alarming data out there on long COVID, and that may be reason to attempt the isolation, but in our experience it prolongs the collective family experience of COVID isolation and delays the overwhelming likelihood your kid will see SARS-CoV-2 it in their lifetime. (Obviously if your kiddo/spouse have specific medical vulnerabilities that changes the calculus!) 

    I recently had covid that manifested as mild cold symptoms. I did not strictly isolate from the rest of my family, but my partner slept on the couch, and I did wear an N95 mask at home whenever I was in the same room as anyone else. My partner and kids mostly did not mask. We ran our air purifiers constantly and generally tried to keep windows open. I had symptoms for 3-4 days, tested positive for 8 days. No one else in my family caught it. But again, my symptoms were mild. I was not coughing much, so I think the risk of spread was lower than if I had been coughing and sneezing a lot.

    Hope you feel better quickly!

    I would isolate yourself from your wife and toddler - either at home (this is really hard and not really considered "isolated", even if you stay in your own bedroom/bathroom, but some accomplish it) or by leaving the house altogether and going to a hotel. Risks to their health are not nil. Fingers crossed for the 3 of you to get through this with minimal issues. 

    If you set up your space with good air flow and you mask in an N95 or better, it should make it less likely that you infect your family. If they can also mask in quality masks, that will reduce the chance they get it considerably. Air purifiers in common areas and open windows will go a long way to keep the virus from hanging around your house.

    Isolating is the best way to keep Covid from getting to everyone, but it's hard to solo parent a toddler for that long. Good luck to you and your family!

    If she hasn't been vaccinated, and contracts Covid, she could potentially be a significant risk to the younger siblings and pregnant mothers. So it is reasonable to keep her home until you you and she are both definitively negative.

    I have several friends who successfully avoided passing COVID through their household by isolating the people who are positive. One parent or a parent+child combo positive, with one parent or parent+child combo still negative. (IMO it's not worth isolating if both parents are positive, or if all children are positive with only one parent negative.) It is indeed easier if you have a basement or a second floor.

    I'm not a doctor nor infectious disease expert, but I worked on COVID guidance for SF in 2020/2021. My advice is if it's really impossible for you to physically isolate and especially since your child is not vaccinated, you should wear an N-95 mask around your family. If you have air filters, use them. Open windows if possible. Get air moving. 

    It's also worth trying to get Paxlovid for yourself. CA Dept of Public Health was advising everyone to try getting it, even if you weren't obviously eligible on paper. There's no shortage of it, and it will help lessen your viral load.

    But quite honestly, if your return from work travel was more than a few days ago, it's probable you've exposed them both already. Most young kids get through COVID ok, but some don't. Since your child is not vaccinated, it's still worth trying to prevent them from getting it. At least if/until they start feeling sick too, in which case isolation doesn't matter anymore.

    Best of luck, and rest if you can! 

    We went through this recently. The pediatrician said ideally yes but almost no one can do that realistically (and my husband and I were both positive so not even an option). Next best thing is to mask around your kid, ideally with an N95 (best) or KN95. We wore N95s for the full 10 days and our baby never got it - and we tested her many many times, poor thing. Very uncomfortable but worth it for us.

    Good luck! 

    These were our recent experiences. Maybe they will be helpful to you…

    My husband recently had COVID again and he did isolate from me and our 2 toddlers as much as he could. He slept downstairs away from us and when we did all hang out together he was masked at all times and we spent a lot of time outdoors. He had a mild case and luckily he did not infect us. But my kids were still allowed to attend daycare/preschool as long as they were testing negative (we tested daily) so they did have less exposure to him overall.

    Last summer we all got COVID from him and he masked and tried to isolate from us as much as is possible in a small house but we had to all stay home due to the regulations in place back then. So we all got it. He also got decently sick so maybe he was more infectious too. 
    either way I do think isolating helps! I know it’s really hard to do with little ones but you should at the minimum mask and try limit contact at least for the first 5 days.

    good luck and hope you are all soon!

    When I got covid from traveling, I wore an n95 mask at all times around my family and while caring for my toddler. I did not sleep with a mask on. Thankfully, no one else in my family got sick.

    Thanks everyone!! Super helpful responses all around.

    I did get Paxlovid and am feeling pretty much all better now. Hearing these responses I'm inclined to make sure my wife is taken care of and come out of isolation, she's starting to feel sick (no positive Covid tests) and we're theoretically preparing for a trip to London for a wedding next week. 

    My only concern really is the potential for long covid symptoms in any of us, but perhaps that's just not very likely, especially if we can keep the viral load low?

  • Document of Recovery for travel

    (7 replies)

    Hi BPN,

    Our child tested positive this week and will need a "document of recovery" for international travel in two months.

    Has anyone else received one of these documents after their child tested positive? Do we just ask our pediatrician for one? Can we get it from another accepted source?

    I'm looking around online and the travel forms are not super helpful.

    Any information would be appreciated, thank you!

    Once they are negative you just ask your pediatrician for documentation, just like you might have to ask them for a letter when kiddo returns to school. It is not a big deal. 

    Hi there,

    Health care provider here— I write them all the time for folks who’ve recently recovered from COVID-19 and are no longer infectious and need to travel. Just ask your pediatrician (they may require a visit/phone visit) and they should be able to help you with a letter. Happy travels! 

    My husband got one from a nurse, but your doctor can give you one. The tricky thing is that according to the CDC instructions, you need to provide info on a positive PCR test, which we didn’t have. It all ended up being moot for us, because my husband was able to test negative for our return trip (2 months post covid) and we didn’t have to show anyone his letter to see if it would pass muster. 

    We did this recently for a trip to Italy. We first got a PCR test to document the date of the positive result, then waited until symptoms subsided and called our doctor’s office to get a letter of recovery for travel purposes. They were very familiar and had a form letter ready to go; they just signed and dated it and emailed it over. Hope your experience is similarly seamless. Happy travels! 

    Hi.  I had to get one of these myself after I tested positive a month before I was to travel internationally.  Turns out they are now pretty standard.  I called my PCP and a form letter was uploaded to my Kaiser app right after the phone call.  In my situation, I had to have a record of a positive PCR test and it was recommended that I do not test again.  I'm fairly positive your pediatrician's office can help you.

    Hope your child is feeling well!

    In our case we needed a similar letter for return to daycare. We got one from our pediatrician. It starts with "This letter confirms recovery from COVID-19 as you report completion of self-isolation per pandemic public health guidelines and you presently report no infectious symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection. Dates noted are xxxx." I can't speak to whether this will be accepted by an airline, but would think so. I would suggest getting the letter and then calling the airline. Good luck!

    Glad you posted here because we are in the same situation. It’s great if your doctor knows what they are doing, not great if your doctor has no idea. I  went through Kaiser to try to get this and the Kaiser phone tree was stubbornly unhelpful. We don’t even know if our doctor is more helpful because we can’t even get through to her, we just get automated form responses. We tested positive on a home test, but because we tested positive at home, Kaiser wouldn’t authorize a PCR test. The woman on the phone at the records department had no idea what a document of recovery was, and sent my husband a letter that she said would do, but I looked it up on the CDC website and it wouldn’t have worked. So make sure you do your research and your paperwork is in order. A self test won’t be accepted, it has to be a PCR test. I tried to post an article from NYT that was very helpful, but it wouldn’t copy and paste, but you can look it up. It’s called “I’m overseas and I tested positive. What now?” Scroll down to the details about the document of recovery. Good luck! We are bringing proctored test strips with us on our trip just in case something is amiss with our Document of Recovery (if we ever get one). If Kaiser remains uncooperative maybe will go through a third party vendor to get a PCR (since we just got sick) and give us the document when we recover. 

  • Hi lovely parents, We have finally planned a trip for the first time since the pandemic started and are beyond excited to visit the Big Island later this month. I saw that the State of Hawaii is lifting their pre-travel testing policy just a few days AFTER we travel so we still have to follow the current policy. My understanding is that my husband and I can upload our vax records to get pre-travel clearance and that our 4-year old son doesn't have to test prior to travel. Has anyone traveled to Hawaii with a child under 5 recently? Can you verify that you don't have to show a negative covid test 72 hrs prior to departure for your child under 5? I read this on the Hawaii covid website, but my frazzled brain would love confirmation from someone who has done the trip recently so I don't accidentally mess up our trip. Thanks in advance!

    Hi, we traveled to Hawaii in January with 3 years and 3 months old. You don't need to show any negative tests for children under 5. We simply traveled uploading our vaccination records and it was easy breezy!

    I have traveled to Hawaii several times (parents live there) including during 2020 when I had a new baby and things were really locked down and we had to quarantine. Children under 5 are still exempt from the testing requirement and will not be quarantined if traveling with an adult who is exempt. Just make sure the adults and all children over 5 have their paperwork in order. It's a pretty seamless process at this point. Bring a birth certificate to verify the age since your kid is closer to 4.

    Note that on March 25, 2022, the Safe Travels program will conclude. Beginning March 26, 2022, there will be no COVID-related requirements for arriving domestic passengers.

    Have fun!

    We are currently in Hawaii and had the same questions for our 2 kid under 5. We called the number on the state of Hawaii’s website and they said that we did not need to have tests for our kids. Just register them on your safe travel QR code. You can go through the screening process at SFO and then you don’t have to do it when you arrive (you just flash a wristband). It was a very easy process! 

    Hi- we have family living in Hawaii so it’s been our only real pandemic travel. We’ve gone when testing was required regardless of vax status and when you could upload your vax card instead of testing. In all our trips, we have never had to provide a test or documentation for our kid. He was 2 and then 3 when we visited, most recently in December. Have a great trip! 

    Traveled to Hawaii a few weeks ago. If you are vaccinated and register ahead of time on the Safe Travels program by uploading your vaccination card then your child is covered and no testing necessary. 


    We just recently came back from a trip to Honolulu. We flew Hawaiian airlines. Kids under 5 do not need a negative Covid test. When you create your pre-travel acct, you’ll add your kid to your acct. We flew out of OAK and we received bracelets to clear us in Hawaii After our pre-travel documents were verified. My friends flew Southwest and they were also given bracelets for clearance in Hawaii. 
    Hope that helps. Enjoy and mahalo! 

    Thank you for easing my mind on this!! Really appreciate the responses. 

    The Safe Travels program to Hawaii ends as of March 25, 2022. Testing will no longer be necessary if you enter Hawaii on 3/26. We were planning on signing up anyway for our trip in early April and they wouldn't let us. 

  • Covid testing protocols for Nanny

    (4 replies)

    Hi all,

    Looking for suggestions for setting up Covid testing protocols for our new nanny in a new nannyshare arrangement. We would like to be as reasonable/unburdensome to her as possible, but we want to be effective enough to protect the babies.

    We are starting a nanny share next month with another family. Both baby boys in the share will be 9 months old, and consequently are unvaccinated. Both sets of parents are triple vaxxed and very Covid-cautious. Our nanny has four school-aged kids so her exposure level is somewhat high.

    Looking for any suggestions or plans you've implemented, pros/cons, etc.

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    Our nanny (who is also triple vaxxed and very covid cautious) takes a rapid test immediately before coming on Mondays and Wednesdays (we provide her with the rapid tests in advance).  I’m not sure this is a perfect solution but think it’s our best bet considering the circumstances. Our daughter is also six months old.

    I would recommend adopting some of the protocols teachers in grade schools use. They are around children all day who are too young to be vaccinated. My sister is a first grade teacher in the Bay Area. They are tested once a week or twice a week I believe. You can get rapid result test kits from CVS. 2 tests per kit. They provide results in 30 minutes. It's easiest to order these online. Shipping only takes a few days. They are about $25 per kit. My wife and I run a maid service called Spring Into Clean and our employees use these as well. We also ask them to complete daily health checks such as taking their temperature and checking for symptoms that the cdc has said could be indicators of Covid. Hope that helps! 

    I assume that you have confirmed both the nanny and everyone in her household is fully vaccinated and boosted as age-appropriate? If you haven't, that's step one. Next, my child's private school is doing weekly testing and that seems reasonable here too. I'd have her do the home tests once a week at the nanny share location, and one of the parents sticks around and verifies the results. (and it's paid time for her)  Having her go to an offsite testing facility seems burdensome and expensive. FYI, at my government workplace with a vaccine "mandate", the unvaccinated employees have to go get tested once a week offsite and provide the employer the results via secure portal, but it is paid time including their travel to/from the testing site. I really doubt you'd want to do that in your situation.

    Hi Caitlin, I think it’s great you want to make this as worry free for your new nanny. I would start out by recognizing that though you view her as having a somewhat higher exposure level at home, please realize she is accepting that huge risk by entering your home, your families, and caring for your unvaccinated children. Yes she has children in school, but lately I’m feeling like some of us hide behind our “covid consciousness” when in fact we are just as exposed as someone else might be. (Enter in all the many people who come in contact with contactless pick ups etc), sorry to vent. I’m an essential worker much like your nanny who has been out in this for the entirety.

    It seems reasonable to me that you would provide her, and your entire families, with weekly rapid tests that can be done from home, good quality masks, etc. Sending home 5-10 rapid tests for her to have on hand at home would be helpful to in event one of her kids or she has a symptom. It would be good practice for you to do the same. Much like a school, it should be agreed upon that neither baby will participate in the share if symptoms are present (how many symptoms could be decided upon by your nanny and both families). 

    Perhaps most important, working to have a blame free, non judgemental and open dialogue when situations do come up (birthday parties, is she comfortable going to library/music lessons/socializing with other babies etc). 

    You are fortunate to have found a nanny amidst all of this and it seems essential to protect and support your caregiver as best you can. 

  • Quick covid test results for 2 year old

    (31 replies)

    I have a 2 year old in daycare and when she's sick (runny nose, sneezing, anything) I need to get a negative covid test before I can bring her back to daycare. Does any one know where I can get a covid test for a 2 year old that will get me results the next day? Taking off 2-3 days for each runny nose is a huge stress on my job. gives you results in 12 hrs. They accept walk-ups without an appointment.

    Test the People in North Oakland is very fast since they process the tests on site.  They say 24 hours, but it's been 12-18 hrs each time for us. They also have a special softer swab for young kids.

    Test The People has a site in North Oakland. We usually get PCR test results back within 12 hrs. 

    We go to Test to the People. They are for all ages, not specifically children, but we’ve taken our 2.5 year old twice. Results in 12 hours, sometimes 24. We’ve always had luck getting an appt within a day or so but they also do walk ups. Appointments are done directly from your car if you have one. 

    If your daycare accepts home tests, that is probably the easiest, other than that they are often out of stock these days.  I was able to snag one at walgreens a few days ago.

    Otherwise, I wrote to our pediatrician (Sutter) and was able to get a drive-through test for my 2.5 year old on short notice with results within 24 hours.  

    I haven't tried them directly yet, but I'm in a similar situation with my almost 2 year old at a daycare that requires a PCR negative test to return after any cold symptoms. The school just recommended Test the People as providing very quick scheduling and results.

    Test the People in North Oakland is amazing! PCR, 12 hour turnaround. 

    The Dignity Health Urgent Care clinic on Piedmont Ave in Oakland offers rapid tests.  I’ve had my 3 year old tested there.  If you aren’t able to sign up online for a same day Covid test, sign up for a virtual visit.  Once you do the quick virtual visit, they will get you in same day for a test.  

    Test the People at Aileen and MLK in the chori parking lot does a 12-hour turn around PCR test. They bill all insurance, including Kaiser. We have used it for the same reason, and also used it to meet a travel test requirement for my husband.

    We have used Test the People in Oakland (right near Children's Hospital) several times, and their turnaround time has always been within 24 hours for a PCR test.

    Would your child's daycare accept a rapid test? You could use the home tests now available at pharmacies.

    If you happen to have an older child in Oakland public schools, the OUSD testing program is also very easy and has free rapid testing for anyone who is a family member of an OUSD student or staff.

    My family has been going to City Health (they have locations all around the bay) and they are very fast. Results have been coming in under 24 hrs for me. The fastest I got a result was under 12 hrs (test at 9am, results by 8pm). City Health told me they pick up samples 2x a day. So if you test before 11am, it's likely your sample will go out in the first batch and you might get results that evening or early the next morning. I also recently went to Walgreens and they gave me a result in about 24 hrs.

    Test the People in North Oakland is free and gets results back within 12 hours

    I'm in your exact boat. Try "Test The People" in North Oakland: 

    You can make an appt online, it's a drive-thru, and PCR results are available in 24 hrs. Our preschool requires PCR results for symptomatic illness (even a runny nose). 

    I would buy the BINAX antigen tests from your local pharmacy 2 for $25.  If the daycare requires PCR, you can by the Lucira tests for $65.

    Yes! East Bay Pediatrics does rapid testing. It's a drive through nasal swab and you get the results the same evening. Appointments are scheduled around 5pm, following a quick video visit with a doctor at some point in your day. You'd have to ask your daycare if they accept the antigen test, the tests they do are antigen and not PCR

    Test the people in Oakland says 12-24 hours - always been under 12 for us. 

    Yes--the Test The People site behind CHORI at MLK and Aileen turns around results in 24 hours. You can walk up without an appointment, or make an appointment and drive through.

    I haven’t gone myself but both my sister and dad have gone to the El Cerrito location and got their results within 10-12 hours.

    It depends on what the policy is but our daycare accepts the results of the at home tests that you can get at Walgreens. Otherwise, Color had been returning them in 24 hours but had been slower lately. I know there are some that say they can turn around 12 hour PCR tests, but I haven't used any. Not to be a bummer but you also have to consider that sending your kid with symptoms means that you're likely going to get another kid sick who will now have to stay home and get tested. The parents and teachers in our class have chatted about what we are and aren't comfortable with when our kids are sick. I know it is super hard though, especially since my kid was in daycare long before covid and a runny nose was something you wouldn't even think about! Good luck! 

    Test the People in Oakland (near Children's Hospital) does PCR nasal swab tests (drive through) and typically has results in 12-24 hours. They bill your insurance or free for uninsured individuals.

    Both Test the People in Oakland and City Health in El Cerrito usually guarantee results for the next day at 2pm if you go in the morning and in practice they are usually closer to 12 hours turnaround time.

    Check out

    They are located at 5700 MLK Jr. Way in Oakland (near Children's Hospital). They are a drive-thru test site and say they give results in less than 24 hrs. I know people have received results in 12 hrs. They do the PCR test that most daycares require. According to their website, they test infants to adults. Your child is too young, but for those 4+ they are also doing a salvia (mouth) swab instead of the nose one, which for one preschooler might be more comfortable than the nasal swab.

    Another site for folks with little kids to consider is curative on san pablo in Berkeley (parking lot of the adult school). They have slower turnaround times but allow you to swab your child's nose instead of a technician doing it. I know my child prefer's having be doing the swabbing, than some stranger in head-to-toe PPE.

    Good luck!

    Test the People in North Oakland gets results back to you in 12-24 hours. I've used them twice and both times the results have come back in 10 hours. 

    What about the BinaxNOW rapid tests you can buy at pharmacies e.g. Walgreens. They’ll give you results within 15min and are supposed to be fairly accurate especially when you are showing symptoms. They are pretty affordable too $23 for 2 tests.

    My husband and I recently got tested at City Health Urgent Care. They have multiple locations in the East Bay including at the Oakland Airport. They have both rapid antigen and PCR testing. I confirmed with the nurse working there that they can test young kids, as young as one year old (maybe younger?) We got both rapid antigen and PCR testing. The rapid antigen test came back in about 1 hour and the PCR test came back in less than 24 hours. The turnaround for PCR probably depends on the volume but it was very fast when we went.

    We’ve successfully used the binax now rapid test from a pharmacy on our two yo. We show her what we’re going to do with a q-tip on ourselves first. They are reasonably priced and pretty accurate when symptoms are present.

    I do not know a quick place to get test results but I just wanted to sympathize with you.My grandson had a runny nose Monday,which was gone by Tuesday but he can not go back to preschool until next Monday.I can not even count how many times I have watched one of my grandchildren because they could not go to school but we’re not sick.I am not saying we should not all be careful but many kids have runny noses frequently and always have.It is much harder to be a working parent than it used to be.

    I'm in the exact same boat as you and definitely share your frustration! I just had my 2.5 year old tested early morning at Kaiser and was surprised when the results came back the next afternoon (usually it took at least 36 hours), but also interested in learning if there are any faster options (our preschool requires a lab PCR, not antigen test).

    Hi - I just had to get my daughter tested for the same reason, went to the urgent care center at Sutter Milvia. Took her on a Friday at 11:30am, had the results back by Saturday 6:30am. But I would not necessarily recommend going there with a small child. Nasal swabs can be really challenging for small kids and I found the docs there a bit aggressive. My daughter ended up with a bloody nose and pretty traumatized. A fellow preschool mom told me that the Curative testing location at Cedar and San Pablo will hand the parent the swab and let them do it. I might recommend going there - not sure about their turnaround times but I assume most places are pretty quick at this point.

    We got a test for our preschooler at RTW at The New Parish Our appointment was around noon and we had the results by 7am the next day. They had a parent do the swab.

    Will they accept a home test?  I just read about a one that was recently approved (and used by the NHS in UK for months now), approved for kids as young as two:

  • Weekly COVID Testing for our Nanny

    (8 replies)

    Hi! I'm looking for advice on weekly COVID testing options for my Nanny in either Hayward or Oakland. I'm trying to make it as convenient as possible, but we would like to have it done weekly, and I know there are free places to get it done, does anyone have any recommendations?

    Consider buying at-home COVID antigen tests (Amazon, CVS, etc sell them). They average about $20 each but are quick and easy to do from home. Otherwise Test the People might meet your needs. 

    Try Test the People in North Oakland - free and accessible, I'm not sure if appointments are required, I've always made an appointment though.

    Test The People in Oakland is free, efficient (drive through or walk up), and has results within 12-24 hours. If you have insurance they bill them, but if you don't it's free. 

    I buy the BinaxNOW antigen tests online from Walmart for our nanny.  Pack of 2 tests is $14.00.  While not as accurate as a PCR test, they are very convenient and you see results in 15 minutes.

    I think if you are requiring a weekly test then you should make it as convenient as possible for the nanny.  Purchase at-home tests that she can do at your house every week. 

    Not free, but have you considered over the counter antigen tests from the drug store? Can't get more convenient than that. You could at least have a few on hand in case you want results right away or your nanny can't get an appointment.

    A friend has used Test the People in north Oakland: You can do a walk-in or make an appointment. City of Berkeley also does free walk-up testing, but that may be too far for you.

    I would recommend the rapid home tests.

    You can pick up the Abbott BinaxNOW home covid test kits from Walgreens or CVS. Results in 15 minutes. My sister's work gives all the employees a whole stack of them and everyone homes test every 2-3 days.  

  • Mouth Swab Covid-19 testing???

    (1 reply)


    My daughter does not tolerate the nasal swabs that are mostly available for covid-19 testing, and I’m wondering if anyone knows of anywhere in the Bay Area that does mouth swab testing? Curative kiosk at the Berkeley Adult School has switched to nasal swabs as of June 17th :(

    thanks for any tips!!!

    If you are willing to pay for the test, Vault Health offers a mail in PCR saliva test. FDA approved and just as accurate as nasal PCR. Not one of those quick result mouth swabs, which are not very accurate.

    They send you a kit, then you zoom with one of their nurses who watches you (or your child) spit into the tube and seal it to validate the test. Then FedEx it back with the prepaid label. I used this kit early on in the pandemic when I needed to travel and it was great. Got the results in two days.

  • Any experience with  test provider  for international airlines with lab stamp and physician signature at reasonable cost. Specifically needed for Avianca to Nicaragua.

    We used City Health Urgent Care down by the Oakland Airport for test documentation for Hawaii and they were fantastic. They charge 20 for documentation and Bill the rest to your health insurance. We got results in an hour. 

    Did a cpr test for free at Walgreens 

    tested on Sunday at 11 am and received the  results on Monday night by email.

    really efficient and free.

  • Covid testing at preschools?

    (9 replies)

    We’re looking into sending our 3 year old to preschool, and are wondering about what Covid protocols look like around the east bay these days. Would any parents be willing to share what school you’re sending your child to, whether testing is happening for teachers, students, and/or families at your school and how often, and how you are being notified if there are positive results in the school community? Mainly interested in preschool but would also like to hear what elementary and beyond look like too. Thanks!

    My daughter goes to a small home daycare (8 families which is 10 kids, plus 3 teachers). All families (including teachers) are asked to have the adults in the household tested every month. We've collectively written pretty strict COVID guidelines for when kids need to stay home from school (anyone in the family travels, anyone in the family has any potential COVID symptom, etc.). So far we have had 2 positive results (for asymptomatic adults) which resulted in school-wide closures and all families quarantining for 2 weeks. I've been really happy with the COVID safety measures in place at our school (everyone over 2 masks at all times, doors always open for ventilation, eating outside well spaced, etc.). Based on what I've seen at friends' kids' schools, I'd say we are on the strict/cautious side, but I'm grateful for that. 

    My son is 3.5 and goes to the East Bay German International School. Teachers get tested twice a week, free weekly (non invasive) student testing is available. Stable groups, teachers and kids were masks, and have regular hand washing practices. Temperature checks at check in. We are happy with the safety protocols and love the school in general. Preschool is bilingual, no prior German knowledge needed. 

    At our preschool (Colibri in Oakland) there is not regular testing but there are times when people must be tested. Let's see if I can get the current rules right as they've changed over time with me guidance from health and education officials. If someone (teacher, student, etc) is exposed to someone with Covid they must quarantine for two weeks and get tested twice- immediately and before they come back. If families travel, like over the holidays which was strongly discouraged, they also had to quarantine for two weeks and have a negative test. New families follow a similar prodical.

    Hi there, I can't speak to preschools since all four that my toddler has attended since COVID began last year have not done regular testing. What has changed has been more separation between pods of children, wearing masks more diligently, handwashing, and teachers are now starting to get vaccinated. We luckily haven't had any cases within any of the preschools, we ended up at different places more because of financial issues related to COVID that didn't allow the schools to remain open (private and home-based preschools). I currently work within a charter schooll in OUSD and we have pods of students back who are most vulnerable and at need, and based on the current cases within the school's zip code, we have asymptomatic testing every week (every other week once numbers go down) for students, teachers, and staff, and I myself am vaccinated because of my role as a mental healthcare provider. My partner because of his role as a scientist in healthcare, gets tested every two weeks, and that depends on the company as well, so I don't believe most parents of the children in our child's school get the same routine testing like our family does. I feel like this may vary between school districts and schools, as well as the jobs of caregivers too--we are currently in the enrollment process for our child for kinder in the fall in BUSD, and it sounds like if schools resume, the hope is to have the infrastructure to do regular asymptomatic testing, but we shall see!

    My 2 year old goes to Kidz Planet in Pleasant Hill. She loves it there and they take COVID very seriously. Anyone over 2 years old have to wear masks (that's a mandate from CoCo County). All the teachers get tested every 2 weeks. So far, this school has not had any positive cases while we have been there, not sure if they had any previously, but they are very good at communicating. My kiddos old daycare exposed children negligently twice by failing to act promptly when a positive case was reported among their teachers. I would ask schools what their COVID protocols are. If they don't have a policy to shut the whole place down after a positive test for the CDC recommended time frame I would run!

    I have two children, one at Cornerstone Preschool in Berkeley and another at BUSD. BUSD is doing nothing and has not given any indication that children will be back on campus in the spring. My guess is that they will not resume in person learning until teachers are vaccinated. 

    In my opinion Cornerstone has done a great job managing Covid protocols. They do not provide on-site testing but require families to quarantine and/or test any time any person in the household travels outside the county. All children two and older are required to wear masks and face shields. This sounds daunting but my two-year-old acclimated within the first day. It helps if a child lives in a family that masks regularly. Families are required to fill out daily health cards certifying that everyone in the household is free of symptoms and has not traveled. They also take temperatures at the door, though that feels less useful to me given how many kids are asymptomatic. Family members are not allowed inside the school and I believe they keep teachers and kids in pods to limit exposure. 

    We have been onsite since June 1st. In that time there has been one positive case at the school and they opted to keep everyone home until they had been in contact with the Health Department. They have since received guidance around how to manage future positive cases, which would require exposed classes to quarantine rather than a full school closure. 

    Hi there. You can see the guidance for child care/preschool programs here:  There is more information, including FAQ for parents here: (scroll down to child care or all the way to the bottom for FAQ about returning to school or child care.)

    We have a 4 year old in Preschool in Berkeley and he's in a small pod of kids that doesn't change (10 kids, 2 teachers) with dedicated space/time outside. They follow all the guidelines from the Dept of Public Health including sanitizing, open windows, no outside adults coming in, etc. We take his temp every morning, and attest to no symptoms in him or anyone else in the family, etc. upon check-in. We signed an agreement to notify the school of any symptoms, exposures, or positive tests, but there is no ongoing or mandatory testing. We were notified once that a child in a different classroom (no exposure or overlap to my son's class) either had a positive test or had a sibling with one- I forget - but they quarantined that classroom and not my son's. We've been very happy and feel really safe. 

    Our daughter goes to 1st grade at the EBGIS (East Bay German International School) in Emeryville which offers a preschool program as well. They've been open and on campus since August, have implemented full COVID protocols, the whole gamut from app-based kid check-in, to socially-distanced classroom layouts, to small stable cohorts, to (mandatory) twice weekly teacher testing, to (voluntary & free) weekly student testing. Our daughter has LOVED the experience and we're grateful she can go to school. Since you asked about student testing: This is new, they just started this in February in partnership with the California Department of Public Health. The test provider is Color and you get the result in 24-48 hours by text message. In terms of positive cases: There has only been one positive case of a staff member, a few months ago, who was infected elsewhere which was picked up in the routine testing they do. The staff member quarantined as per CDC and county protocols. The cohort was sent home until everyone got tested and was able to return to campus after receiving negative test results. The rest of the school community was informed without revealing the identity of the individual. Importantly: The infection _did not_ spread at the school, which was an encouraging affirmation that the protocols they have in place are effective. We can't recommend this school more highly.

  • Short swab Covid 19 test for kids?

    (3 replies)

    I’ve been searching for a test site where my 3 year old can get a short swab test, with results within 48 hours. If you know of one please share!

    (For context- most testing sites don’t take children, require a screening or doctor’s referral, or take longer than 48 hours to provide results. No one in our family is symptomatic or aware of exposure. We’d like to get tested before seeing relatives to be safe, and our pediatrician recommended the short swab test for this particular instance.)

    Our daughter had a fever so we reached out to our Pediatrician.  We go to Sutter and tested her at Sutter on Milvia.  Results came back in <24 hours.  Not sure if you need a doctor's referral....

    One Medical can do an in-mouth swab for covid-19 testing! I just did it with my 14 month-old. We got in the same day that we booked it in Walnut Creek, but they have availability in Emeryville too.

    Our infant daughter also had a fever about 1.5 mo ago. She got tested at Sutter on Milvia with results in less than 24hrs. Luckily it was something else. Now we wanted to get tested again before grandma takes over while our daycare is on vacation. Sutter told us they won't test w/o symptoms. So we're headed to the county test site. I heard results are taking longer to come back, but it's better than nothing.

  • COVID-19 testing experience

    (2 replies)

    Hello- I'm wondering if anyone has experience being tested for COVID-19 at one of the three free Oakland testing sites (Henry J Kaiser, Roots Community Health Clinic, or Allen Temple). Specifically, I'm trying to get a sense of what the turnaround time between getting tested and receiving results is. Thanks in advance for any info!

    Hi! I tested at the Emeryville site and it was a 48 hour turnaround. My doctor told me that I could expect the same from the Oakland testing sites. They are trying to get results back quickly due to people returning to the workplace.

    Hello, I wasn’t tested at any of those sites but various sources report the general turnaround time is 48 hours. That’s also what I was told when I was tested a few weeks ago and I felt lucky that my test results came in (negative) the day after I tested.