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Test Kit Shortage Puts Brakes on Pasadena Unified’s Newly-Launched Weekly COVID-19 Testing Program

Published on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 | 6:58 am

Just days after it launched a weekly COVID-19 testing regimen which put the district at the forefront of California public schools for early compliance with a state testing mandate, Pasadena Unified has hit a snag.

It doesn’t have enough testing kits to administer this week’s tests in full, like last week.

The district attributes the shortage to a supplier backlog.

Superintendent Brian McDonald said that after an expected shipment did not arrive last Friday, the district was able to source a limited number of kits from a different distributor.

“Our procurement director was able to negotiate for us to get 600 tests from Sam’s Club with help from CVS,” Superintendent Brian McDonald said Monday.

McDonald said the acquisition will allow the district to test:

  • All students and staff on quarantine through our clinic services,
  • All previously scheduled clinic appointments,
  • Unvaccinated athletes, cheer, and band members who are competing or performing this week.  Dr. McDonald said he will connect with the high school principals personally to coordinate.

McDonald said that during the times reserved for testing at school sites, “we will be focusing on promoting vaccination and obtaining informed consent from parents for testing when we receive a new shipment of test kits.”

Last week’s rollout of the testing program appeared to have gone well.

The district said in one day alone it had tested 816 students and staff. Mobile testing clinics were on high school sites on August 31, and the district held a drive-through testing clinic at the PUSD Education Center.

Although the School Board set a Sept. 1 start date — a full month ahead of a state health order to begin such testing on Oct. 1 — McDonald said PUSD had begun operations even earlier, on Aug. 30.

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One thought on “Test Kit Shortage Puts Brakes on Pasadena Unified’s Newly-Launched Weekly COVID-19 Testing Program

  • This is further evidence of poor leadership at PUSD. While other districts were preparing for testing, even without the state mandate, PUSD was late to the game, did not stockpile tests ahead of the school year, nor did they engage with the testing agency early enough to get the nurses required to administer the tests. My daughter had to administer the test herself! What a joke.
    Everything coming from the Board President and Superintendent are propaganda smoke-screens intended to hide the fact that they have been consistently unprepared for the challenges of COVID because they themselves do not believe in the urgency of the matter.
    I look forward to new leadership next year. Rest assured, there will be new leadership.