Happy & Healthy Safe Schools uncategorized

Omicron is here—What SF families can do to stay safe.

I’m so grateful for the partnership of families and educators who have raised their voices over the past year to ensure our district is doing all that it can to ensure our students and staff stay safe in our schools. Because our advocacy has paid off, all classrooms have air purifiers and we have increased access to testing for students. I am grateful to the families who helped me and President Lopez draft the Roadmap to COVID Recovery Resolution to ensure we continue our work in having the safest classrooms in the nation.

I’m also grateful to our Governor, who has made California the first state to announce mandatory vaccinations for all students.

Not out of the woods yet

Unfortunately, we are not out of the woods just yet. Yesterday, San Francisco recorded the very first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the United States. There is still much we don’t know about this new strain and how transmissible or severe it is.

Testing helps us prevent the spread.

I’m extremely grateful for the tireless work that SFUSD staff and their partnership with the SF Department of Public Health in expanding access to testing access in our schools. Over and over again, we hear how important testing is to prevent the spread of the virus. As this LA Times article states:

“San Francisco health officer Dr. Susan Philip said the quick identification of the Omicron variant would not have been possible without UC San Francisco and Color Health, as well as the resident who decided to get tested for the coronavirus, recognizing that recent travel to South Africa and mild symptoms of illness were cause to get tested.”

How San Francisco confirmed the first U.S. Omicron case so quickly, LA Times. Writen by Rong-Gong Lin Il, Luke Money and Maura Dolan

Get your booster shots!

Vaccinations have proven to be the NUMBER ONE way to protect ourselves and our families. If you haven’t already gotten a booster shot, now is the time to schedule an appointment before holiday get-togethers. We are so very lucky to live in a city where folks wear masks and get vaccinated. We must stay vigilant. Let’s keep it up and stay safe!

Resources and Information for families

Superintendent Matthews share resources with families…

Superintendent Matthews provided some important links in an email communication sent out to families today. In it he shared links to City and District resources:

I am reaching out because I know many of us are feeling a heightened concern about a new COVID variant called Omicron.  

The SF Department of Public Health (SFDPH) has assured us that San Francisco is relatively well positioned to handle COVID-19 and its variants because of our high vaccination rates, our high booster uptake, and other local health measures such as masking and testing.

SFDPH Director Dr. Grant Colfax said today that at this time, they do not anticipate changing any of the health orders or changing any current restrictions or imposing new restrictions on activities in San Francisco. 

Health officials continue to emphasize the importance of vaccination, boosters, and other prevention strategies needed to protect against COVID-19. Everyone 5 and older can get vaccinated and boosters are recommended for everyone 18 years and older. If you or your family members are not yet fully vaccinated, please make an appointment to get vaccinated at any of these vaccination sites as soon as possible.

Thank you for following all of our SFUSD COVID safety practices including daily screeningsmaskingtesting and quarantining

Please know we are working closely with the SFDPH and will keep you updated on any new developments. We are committed to the health and well-being of our students, families and staff. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Vincent Matthews

Superintendent of Schools

Other SFUSD resources:

There are 4 SFUSD school sites that offer vaccinations: Malcolm X Elementary, Balboa High, McCoppin Elementary, and Sunset Elementary currently have vaccine clinics. SFUSD is also working with SFDPH and community clinic partners to promote vaccination resources and events to SFUSD families that are happening across the city. 

All vaccine information and schedules are available via SFUSD.edu/COVIDVaccine. This webpage is updated regularly as new information about vaccines becomes available. 

Additionally, SFUSD staff has posted information about COVID-19 self-swab test offering on the website at SFUSD.edu/StudentSelfSwab. Information about COVID-19 testing offered through SFUSD and Color is available at SFUSD.edu/covidtesting 

Other SF vaccination resources

Parents and caregivers can make vaccination appointments using:

  • Pharmacy websites such as Walgreens, CVS, etc.
  • The state’s vaccine booking website, myturn.ca.gov
  • The City’s website, sf.gov/getvaccinated, which is available in multiple languages and will be updated with local information about appointments as it becomes available across the network of sites in San Francisco.  

Additionally, larger health systems, such as UCSF and Kaiser, book appointments as well.

Learn more…

How San Francisco confirmed the first U.S. Omicron case so quickly

A busy Saturday morning at San Francisco’s Embarcadaro.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Listen: What you need to know about omicron in San Francisco

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