Dashboard details COVID-19 testing results from Santa Cruz County schools

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education this week launched a dashboard summarizing COVID-19 testing results across schools countywide, in partnership with school districts, Inspire Diagnostics, and the Santa Cruz County Department of Public Health.

The dashboard, accessible at santacruzcoe.org/coviddashboards/, provides the most comprehensive snapshot of the status of COVID-19 testing in Santa Cruz County schools to date. It includes data collected from all conventional public schools in the county, as well as many charter and private schools. The majority of the data is gathered as part of a testing partnership with Inspire Diagnostics, which performs weekly testing on-site at most Santa Cruz County schools and operates three school community testing sites. The webpage also includes links to individual testing dashboards maintained by each school district.

“Releasing this data marks an important step toward increasing understanding, coordination, and transparency around the status of COVID-19 cases and mitigation in Santa Cruz County schools,” said Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Faris Sabbah. “Despite the challenges of starting a school year during a case surge, I am pleased to report that this data suggests our mitigation efforts have largely proven effective. That’s a credit to the hard work and dedication of our entire community.”

From Aug. 29-Sept. 28, 18,656 COVID-19 tests were administered to students and school staff, out of which 102 returned positive results — a positivity rate of about 0.6%. Santa Cruz County’s overall 7-day positivity rate was between 1.4-3.9% over the same period. 

“Continuity of in-person learning is foundationally important to the healthy development of our students,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel. “As this data shows, COVID-19 positivity rates seen in our schools have remained lower than the wider community and state — once again underscoring the benefits of vaccination and proven mitigation measures.”

Weekly on-site PCR testing is available at all conventional public schools in Santa Cruz County, as well as many charter and private schools, for all students who opt-in as part of the partnership with Inspire Diagnostics. Three additional testing sites are open to all Santa Cruz County students, staff, and family members at the following locations:

  • Santa Cruz County Office of Education Annex parking lot, 399 Encinal St, from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. 
  • Cabrillo College in Aptos, Parking Lot K, from 2 p.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
  • PVUSD District Office parking lot, available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. 

To get tested at a school community site, fill out one-time registration at sccoe.link/inspiresc. No appointment is required.