Questions about Testing & Contact Tracing

  • Note: Schools are not expected nor allowed to diagnose or treat any medical conditions, including COVID-19. Local health officials will provide guidance and support to individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Local health officials will conduct contact tracing to help identify individuals who may have been in close contact with a confirmed case, per CDC Guidance.

    Case, Close Contact, Indirect Contact image






    Case: A case refers to a person who tests positive.

    Close Contact: A close contact refers to a person who was in direct and close contact (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) to a case.

    Indirect Contact: Indirect contacts are people who may have been in proximity to a close contact.


    Q: Will MPCSD require COVID-19 testing?

    A: Yes, for staff. MPCSD is entering into a contract with Stanford Health Care to provide weekly testing of its staff.

    For students and families, MPCSD does not require testing, but does recommend it every two weeks for all students attending school in person. MPCSD intends to offer regular testing at a convenient Menlo Park location, and will keep those events updated on this webpage.

    Some other testing options for students and family members are listed below. Please note that MPCSD is providing this information as a courtesy, and is relaying information that has been given to us. MPCSD does not guarantee access to any of these testing options and cannot answer questions about the testing companies, services provided, or insurance coverage.


    Testing with Curative at Menlo Park Kiosk for ages 5 and up (children under 5 may be tested with parental assistance)

    Curative now operates a walk-up kiosk at 201 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park (in the parking lot of the Church of Christ, Scientist). Hours are Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Schedule an appointment here. Walk-ins without at appointment are also accommodated.


    Community Testing Options for Children and Adults

    Rite-Aid through Project Baseline - Various local options including Redwood City and East Palo Alto
    • Children aged 4+ can be tested for free at drive-through clinics 
    • Sign up through the website. Note: the parent/guardian creates an account for him/herself, then signs up for an appointment for the child.

    After Hour Pediatrics - San Mateo

    • Testing available for anyone who is asymptomatic or has mild symptoms and has insurance that After Hours Pediatrics takes
    • Need to make an appointment, usually available within 1-2 days (children often get same day appointments)
    • Usually 2-4 day turnaround time for standard tests
    • AHP now offers RAPID COVID-19 testing with results in 15-30 minutes for an additional $50 fee, which may not be covered by insurance.

    El Camino Health - Urgent Care Mountain View - Mountain View

    • Testing is available for anyone who wants to be tested
    • No age limit
    • Testing is free, even without insurance
    • Prior to being tested, you need to be seen by one of the doctors

    Stanford Healthcare - Stanford

    • Testing requires a virtual visit beforehand.  Create a MyHealth account or call 650-498-9000
    • MPCSD believes they will test anyone and they explicitly have guidance to test people working in schools

    GoHealth - Dignity Health - Redwood City, San Bruno, and other locations

    • Must schedule a virtual visit first - no times have been available for the past several weeks, but worth checking their website
    • Get results of COVID test 15 minutes after it’s administered

    Patients of Kaiser Permanente

    • MPCSD has been informed that parents of children returning to in-person instruction can request and schedule a COVID testing appointment using an E-visit feature on their account.  Parents can also contact the child's pediatrician to request the covid test.  
    • Tests are conducted at the drive-through tent located on the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City medical center campus.  The turn-around-time from test collection to result availability is approximately 48-72 hours.


    At-Home Testing for Children and Adults

    Vault Health - At home kit

    • Self-administered saliva tests (spit in a tube), which are remotely supervised via Zoom
    • Request your test online, and it’s shipped to you. Take your test (under supervision) and ship the kit back using the provided shipping label
    • Results available within 48-72 hours
    • Insurance is not billed directly. Patients pay out of pocket ($150), but can submit to insurance for reimbursement. MPCSD's understanding through much research and conversations is that insurance is required to reimburse for testing, as was designated in the CARES Act.
    • Children can take this test, but each tester needs a unique email address to register their account.


    At-Home Testing for Adults Only

    Both of the following are at-home kits for self-administered nasal swab testing (think putting a q-tip in your nostril….not going all the way back!). Register on their website and they FedEx/UPS you a kit. Test is taken at home and sent back the same day. Results available 24-96 hours later. Neither of these providers will test children.

    Pixel by Labcorp

    • Screening criteria currently does not require you to be symptomatic
    • Anterior nasal swap (just inside your nostril)
    • They will bill your insurance directly


    • You must qualify for testing
    • Mid-turbinate nasal swab (1 inch inside your nose)
    • You pay with a credit card and submit to insurance


    Additional resources

    Resource with a map of testing sites throughout the Bay Area that don’t require a doctor’s referral: 



    Q: What should someone do if they have a positive COVID test?

    A: If anyone in the MPCSD community (staff, student, or family member) tests positive for COVID, they should isolate at home and notify their school administrator of the test results. All privacy laws will be followed to maintain the confidentiality of the person receiving the test. See quarantine and isolation guidelines on the CDC website. For information on what actions MPCSD will recommend and take, please see the scenarios for responding to confirmed or suspected COVID cases in the PRF, pages 41-47.


    Q: What are the communication protocols if/when someone in the MPCSD community has a confirmed COVID test or is suspected to have COVID?

    Communication protocol image A: If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, notify the school or district immediately. SMCOE will also notify district when a case within the district community is confirmed. The district will work with you to ensure that you have medical care and a plan to isolate according to CDC protocol.


    A Confirmed COVID-19 case in the MPCSD community triggers the following response:


    When County Health Initiates

    • County Health will notify SMCOE’s Office of the Superintendent.
    • SMCOE will notify the MPCSD superintendent. 


    When School District Initiates

    • MPCSD superintendent will notify SMCOE’s Office of the Superintendent.
    • County Superintendent will work in collaboration with County Health and the local district or school. 


    When Parent, Staff or Community Member Initiates

    • If an individual notifies a school staff member, including the school nurse, that they have or may have COVID-19, that staff member will immediately notify the school principal. 
    • The school principal will implement the Communication Flowchart by notifying the district superintendent who will then contact SMCOE’s Office of the Superintendent who will work in collaboration with County Health and the local district.
    • If the District Office is notified directly, it will notify the affected school principals, and initiate the communication flowchart for notifying SMCOE.


    Q: What are the protocols for contact tracing within MPCSD?

    A: At any time, if students, teachers, and staff present with symptoms of fever and/or respiratory infection, they will be sent home immediately. They will be separated from others in an isolation space established on campus until they go home. If symptoms are severe, 9-1-1 will be called. See the table above for response to confirmed or suspected Covid cases.