COVID-19 Outbreak Response Teams are designed to provide rapid response to sporadic, localized COVID-19 outbreaks that fixed testing sites may not be equipped to support. This is available to all K-12 schools, including public, charter, and independent. The definition of a K-12 school outbreak can be found in the Standardized COVID-19 K-12 School Surveillance Guidance for Classification of Clusters and Outbreaks (PDF).
What are Outbreak Response Teams?
Outbreak Response Teams are turnkey mobile assets deployable in 24-48 hours to conduct antigen or PCR tests in response to a COVID-19 outbreak in your local health jurisdiction (LHJ). These teams can also be staffed to offer vaccination at the testing site. Positive antigen tests are automatically sent for PCR confirmation and positive PCR results are sent for whole-genome sequencing. Test results are reported to CalREDIE. Depending on the number of individuals to be tested, teams may be deployed for up to ten days.
There is no cost to the school or LHJ and test resources and registration are provided by the Outbreak Response Team staff.
Please note: if multiple deployments are in progress, requests may be prioritized based on the number of individuals affected, local vaccination rates, local epidemiology, demographics and equity, order received, and other applicable factors.
What is Needed From a School or District?
- A reliable single point of contact to consult about site, location and operational issues. Please ensure this person is reachable by both E-mail or telephone during business hours.
- Information about the outbreak incident, including location, date of first known exposure, population affected, expected number of those requiring testing, and days per week to test.
- Preferred deployment location. The Outbreak Response Teams can deploy both in and outdoors. Internet access is preferable but not necessary.
- Whether vaccination services are also desired. The team may require support from the LHJ for vaccine storage and logistics.
How Do I Send a Request?
Schools should first reach out to their LHJ if they believe that they need support to respond to an outbreak. The LHJ can then facilitate a formal submission of the request via the Medical Health Operational Area Coordination (MHOAC).
For additional questions or help connecting to your LHJ, please contact us via email at:
email@example.com or COVID19OutbreakResponse@cdph.ca.gov.