San Francisco Unified School District building. (Photo by Ciphers via Wikipedia)

As San Francisco Unified School District prepares to reopen some of its schools starting in January for in-person learning, Superintendent Vincent Matthews announced Wednesday plans to provide COVID-19 testing for staff.

Under a new agreement, biotechnology company Curative Inc. will provide testing to school staff, helping identify any staff member who may be asymptomatic, in order to limit the spread of the virus.

“This agreement marks a significant step forward in our work to create an in-person teaching and learning environment where staff can feel safe,” Matthews said in a statement. “When we are in a hybrid in-person learning model, we plan to have a regular surveillance testing program and SFUSD will be by far the largest single testing entity in the city of San
Francisco.”

District officials are still hammering out the details with the city’s Department of Health surrounding administering tests, tracking results and contact tracing.

The district announced last month that since first shuttering schools back in March, in-person learning would resume sometime in January for students in special education and deaf and hard of hearing classes as well as for preschoolers, kindergarteners and first-graders. The district plans on opening schools on a rolling basis for those students at 10 to 15 locations.

Despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases citywide resulting in the rollback of some businesses and activities, Mayor London Breed said Tuesday the city would continue to move forward with plans to reopen public and private elementary and middle schools.