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School districts take a proactive approach with an uptick in COVID-19 cases

The fall semester has brought an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases on school campuses across the county.

Though the numbers are not yet as high as they were in the previous school year, districts are working to be proactive in prevention.

Why it matters

Since year-round classes began in July, the Chula Vista Elementary School District reports that the number of COVID-19 cases among students and staff is climbing more quickly than the same time last year.


The district’s communications director, Giovanna Castro, said the plan was to stick to basics: “to encourage testing, to encourage washing of hands, and to be open and transparent so we can mitigate COVID not just at the school sites, but at the district level as a whole and in the community.”

By the numbers

Chula Vista Elementary School District has 50 campuses in the South Bay with more than 22,000 students.

Since the first day of school on July 17, there have been 900 positive cases of the omicron XBB subvariant reported. That's compared with about 2,000 cases at the same time last year.

Shai Gil is a family nurse practitioner with Campus Clinic. She assists students in their COVID-19 testing, Chula Vista, Calif., Sept. 12, 2023.
M.G. Perez
Shai Gil is a family nurse practitioner with Campus Clinic. She assists students with COVID-19 testing in Chula Vista.

Testing, masking continue

In the San Diego Unified School District, there have been about 150 more positive COVID-19 cases in the first three weeks of school compared with the same period in 2022.


Families continue to be provided with home test kits, and the Board of Trustees is currently not planning to require masks. However, masks are available to anyone who wants them at every district location.

In the San Ysidro School District, only 49 COVID-19 cases have been reported so far this semester. District officials are working with the San Diego County Office of Education on providing more home test kits and monitoring any new recommendations.

A partnership with Campus Clinic in the Chula Vista Elementary School District is helping provide no-cost COVID-19 testing.

Mental health services are also offered as students are still dealing with COVID-related stressors and grief from loss over the past three years.

“They flat out tell me: 'You’ve been helping me — I feel so much better, I don’t feel sad anymore; I have the energy to hang out with my friends and I can talk to my parents about things I didn’t feel comfortable about before,'" said Tania Tadeo a licensed marriage and family therapist with Campus Clinic.