Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Sweetwater Union High School District distributes COVID-19 tests before students return to school next week

A Sweetwater High School staff member distributes a COVID-19 testing kit to a parent in the Sweetwater High School parking lot on January 7, 2022.
Roland Lizarondo
A Sweetwater High School staff member distributes a COVID-19 testing kit to a parent in the Sweetwater High School parking lot on January 7, 2022.

The South Bay has been significantly affected by the pandemic and with the recent surge in cases, one school district is helping out its community.

“In the South Bay, we’ve been really impacted by COVID-19, a lot of our families are first responders, essential workers and so for us it’s critical that we provide our community with the support,” said Dr. Moises Aguirre, the superintendent of Sweetwater Union High School District.

The district is set to go back to school on January 11th and has rallied to distribute just over 36,000 COVID-19 test kits to its students.


“We received our allocation two days ago at our district warehouse,” Aguirre said.

The goal is for every student to test on Saturday and again on Monday before they come back to in-person learning on Tuesday.

“The reason we’re doing this is really to make sure that we return from winter break in a way that’s safe and that guards the health and safety of our students, our staff and really our entire community,” Aguirre said.

RELATED: State COVID kit delivery falls short for many San Diego school districts

Maribel Gavin is the principal of Sweetwater High School and said, “As you can see with the turnout, our students, our parents, they’re showing up because they want to do the right thing. We’re here to support one another and this is the best way to do it, to work together as a team.”


She says the community really came together, from the National City Police helping with traffic control to the school staff.

“I also called in staff that are on vacation,” Gavin continued, “But they gave up their vacation day today to come in and support because they see the importance behind it.”

Many parents were grateful for not only the test kits, but how fast they received them, like Marco Franco who was picking up a kit with his son Diego.

“It was very easy. I thought that we were going to run into a lot of traffic, a lot of delays,” Franco said. “We came in here, two minutes, pulled up, got the test. Very very easy process.”

Sweetwater Union HS District distributes COVID tests before students return to school on Jan 11th

Marco coaches and Diego plays for the Sweetwater High School basketball team.

“It’s very proud to be part of this community here and proud of this school that, seeing the staff out there donating their time to make sure that these kids get back to school very safe,” Franco said.

Aguirre says that his district is in collaboration with the other south bay districts like Chula Vista School District and South Bay School District when it comes to testing kits.

“We will reciprocate, so if students from their districts come to us, we are sharing our tests with them and likewise with them vice-versa.”

Students who test positive must isolate for 10 days and can return to school on day 11. No negative test is required to return to school.