April 13, 2021, SAN FRANCISCO – Primary.Health, after a successful launch of the Safely Opening Schools (SOS) pilot, has been selected to support the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) expanded COVID-19 testing for schools, long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, and other congregate settings. The program aims to provide rapid antigen tests to these groups, in addition to lab-based PCR tests.
“Primary.Health provides terrific COVID-19 testing software and technology, and from the start has supported communities in scaling testing programs to those who otherwise may not have had access,” said Naomi Bardach, MD, lead, Safe Schools for All, California Health and Human Services Agency. “Primary has demonstrated its commitment to support the Governor and California Department of Education’s goals to ensure safe schools in California, and to remain vigilant in preventing COVID-19 outbreaks in other congregate settings.”
More than 60 school districts, including four county offices of education, have already adopted Primary.Health’s rapid testing program and will be eligible to transition to the statewide contract.
The SOS pilot demonstrated a clear need for adaptable software solutions, and confidence in this approach has led many school districts to accelerate their back-to-school plans. Primary.Health’s technology and expertise have been integral to the SOS pilot, a collaboration between the Public Health Institute and the California Department of Public Health, which is helping 10 high-need California districts conduct rapid COVID-19 screening programs since early this year. Data from the first eight pilot districts where testing has started shows a positivity test rate of just 0.21 percent, providing critical insights about school re-openings.
School superintendents and administrators can sign up for the free testing program here. Applications for long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, agriculture workplaces and other qualifying organizations, can be found here. To learn more about how testing programs can be successful, visit https://safelyopeningschools.org/ for details on SOS and safely reopening schools.
“Frequent rapid testing, along with other measures like vaccination, hand washing, and social distancing, is an economical and sustainable way to help control the spread of COVID-19 and bring our communities back to work and our kids back to classrooms,” said Andrew Kobylinski, CEO and co-founder of Primary.Health. “The State’s leadership in supporting regular COVID-19 testing across schools and critical services, will provide reassurance to community members, business owners, parents, teachers, and family members that it is safe to return to in-person learning and everyday living knowing that positive cases will be identified within minutes before infecting others.”
Beyond the school site testing, the program focuses on health equity by directing testing resources to organizations and groups that are in professions or living circumstances that increase exposure to COVID-19.
Primary.Health’s software will help schools, homeless shelters, and community-based organizations stand up and operate their testing programs. In addition to supporting the current need for more rapid testing, the platform is lab agnostic and compatible with many kinds of tests and vaccines, from PCR to rapid antigen to new technologies. This unique capability allows schools, essential workforce employers, and local public health agencies to adapt their testing program to the specific needs of their populations and environments.
Primary.Health is the engine behind community testing and vaccination programs. Our platform enables government agencies, employers, researchers, labs, schools, healthcare facilities, and community-based organizations to organize, streamline, and automate efficient and consumer-friendly COVID-19 services. Primary launched in March of 2020 and powers more than 700 COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites across the country.
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