Frequently Asked Questions
Who Are You?
We are a group of San Francisco citizens who bring rapid antigen COVID-19 testing to community based organizations (CBOs), schools, camps, after school programs, and other organizations serving children, youth and their families in the San Francisco Bay Area.
How are you paying for these services?
We are financed by private philanthropic donations so far. We have received testing supplies from SFDPH and CADPH for use in K-12 school communities. We offer our services for free to CBOs and public schools.
What services do you provide?
We provide Covid - 19 Testing including:
Asymptomatic screening with rapid antigen tests
Symptomatic testing of individuals with rapid antigen tests (e.g. when an individual presents cold-like symptoms, to rule out COVID-19 infection)
Cohort testing after an exposure event or single positive test result, including confirmatory PCR tests and rapid antigen tests
Test-to-exit testing, confirming an individual is no longer infectious after a COVID-19 infection
We can also provide consulting services and training for your staff on how to implement a regulatory-compliant testing program that your school or organization can operate independently with our support.
What regulations does Safer Together follow?
As a clinical laboratory with a CLIA Certificate of Waiver, we follow all regulatory requirements set out by the CDC, CMS, and California Department of Public Health (CDPH). For schools within San Francisco, we also follow all local regulations and guidelines set out by SFDPH. Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Point-of-Care and Rapid Testing is provided by the CDC.
How is your staff trained?
Staff are trained on the obligations and regulatory requirements governed by our CLIA Certificate of Waiver, maintaining HIPAA compliance, patient interaction and sample handling, proper test administration, and proper usage of personal protective equipment. Our training program incorporates pre-work that includes videos and reading, a hands-on training session for test administration and workflow, and follow-up certification quizzes.
What staffing and resources do partners need to commit?
Safer Together works with our partners and can provide services to meet their needs and comfort level. We can provide an end-to-end solution where we show up with trained personnel and all materials and take care of testing for you at a frequency that works for your organization. Alternatively, if you would like to take on some of this effort in house, we can train your employees or volunteers to meet HIPAA requirements and assist with administering tests properly. We can also provide consulting services for you to run a rapid antigen testing operation yourselves.
How do rapid tests work and how accurate are they?
Rapid antigen tests provide results in 15 minutes using a gentle frontal nasal swab. They are well-established, reliable diagnostic tests. False positives are rare.
Do you offer PCR testing? How and when should rapid antigen testing and / or PCR testing be used?
Yes, we provide follow-up confirmatory PCR testing when necessary.
Rapid antigen testing detects protein fragments of the coronavirus, so the virus needs to reach sufficient levels to be detected. These tests are good at detecting viral loads that correspond with a person’s period of infectiousness. Given the low cost and quick result turnaround, rapid tests are best used for frequent screening. They are also the best choice for confirming a person is no longer infectious after they have undergone quarantine. PCR tests can remain positive for a longer period of time, after a person is no longer infectious.