Oakland Unified teachers demand onsite COVID testing as finding appointments get trickier

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- California became the first state in the nation to order teachers and school staff to be vaccinated or submit to a weekly COVID test. On Tuesday, Oakland Unified became the latest school district to mandate vaccines for all school employees. The question now is how accessible will testing be for staff?

Olivia Udovic is an Oakland teacher who is fully vaccinated. She teaches kindergarten. "It should be mandatory for all teachers," she told ABC7 News.

That will now happen after Oakland Unified agreed to follow the lead of other districts to mandate the COVID vaccine.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces all CA teachers must be vaccinated or tested weekly

Those teachers who opt out will have to be tested which, for Oakland students and staff, can be a challenge.

"I tried to go get a test this weekend for myself and my family, my kids just to be safe going into the first day and couldn't find anything through OUSD," added Udovic.

"I've heard 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., I heard from the community that they couldn't get tested over the weekend," explained Oakland school board member Mike Hutchinson who has now introduced a resolution to require COVID testing at all Oakland school sites similar to what Berkeley Unified has. Berkeley uses carts that are mobile and go from one school to another.

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"We have the resources, we have COVID relief dollars, it is an easy fix to make those stationary centers mobile," said Hutchinson who told us Oakland Unified has received $300 million COVID relief funds from the state and federal governments to be used for these kinds of preventive measures.

Alameda Unified will test anyone who works at one their schools from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Another option for Oakland teachers is to use an in-home test kit.

Teachers and staff who are fully vaccinated are not required to be tested on a weekly basis once their status has been verified.

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