SFUSD suspends testing pilot after FDA warning

San Francisco Unified School District is pausing its pilot program with testing startup Curative after federal officials warned last week that results through the company may result in false negatives, officials said Monday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning last week of the potential for false negative results from Curative tests. While officials did not note the scope of the false tests, they warned it could result in a false sense of security and lack of timely treatment or monitoring.

SFUSD reached an agreement with Curative in November to test staff at no cost to the district that was a key component of reopening efforts. Pilot testing is now on hold, the Examiner has learned.

“Only a limited number of SFUSD staff have been tested to date with Curative labs through a small testing pilot that took place in December,” said SFUSD spokesperson Laura Dudnick. “Given the new information from the FDA, we have decided to pause our testing pilot with Curative and we are consulting further with the SF Department of Public Health while exploring other options and awaiting more information.”

Berkeley officials recommended residents not use free Curative tests for the time being and Los Angeles County officials on Sunday said they would stop using the test for mobile testing sites. The company partnered with San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Sonoma, Marin, and Santa Clara for free tests. Alameda County also had an agreement with Curative to test school staff.

Curative defended the tests last week with a reminder that the tests have been validated and have specific labels. The FDA warned that the test risked false results when not administered according to authorized labeling, like being directly observed by a trained health care worker. Instructions limit use to symptomatic individuals within 14 days of coronavirus onset.

“The Department of Public Health is aware of the FDA statement about Curative self-administered tests,” said city officials in a statement. “DPH does not currently use these tests at any of its testing sites. We are interested in understanding the issue more to help guide current as well as potential future uses of this test and will be reviewing these findings and the data that support it.”

Bay Area NewsCoronaviruseducationsan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Lowell High School is considered an academically elite public school. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students denounce ‘rampant, unchecked racism’ at Lowell after slurs flood anti-racism lesson

A lesson on anti-racism at Lowell High School on Wednesday was bombarded… Continue reading

Most Read