By CBSLA Staff

CAMARILLO (CBSLA) — COVID-19 test kits shipped by the state of California arrived at the Ventura County Office of Education in Camarillo Thursday and will be distributed to all students in the county.

(credit: Ventura County Office Of Education)

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The shipment of 132,000 kits were part of the millions Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to send out to all K-12 students so they can get tested as they return to classrooms after the winter break. The tests were delayed by bad weather, but arrived ahead of students’ return to campuses within the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the nation.

Despite the late arrival, school officials in Ventura County were excited and eager to unload the shipment. Dr. Cesar Morales, superintendent of Ventura County schools, said that the kits will bring peace of mind for families and help keep schools open amid the pandemic.

“At-home COVID-19 tests are in high demand, and we’re grateful that the state has provided kits for every student in Ventura County,” Morales said in a statement.

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The test kits that arrived in Camarillo each contains two COVID tests, and the county’s Office of Education has received enough kits to provide one for every student in the county for free. The kits are now being sent to local school districts, which will coordinate distribution to students and their families.

Orange County’s Department of Education also received its first shipments of COVID tests this week. The shipment of 191,376 tests were delivered Wednesday, but represent just about 42% of the more than 450,000 rapid antigen tests that the county’s school officials are expecting.

Across Southern California, schools continue to grapple with the surge in COVID infections driven by the more contagious Omicron variant, which can infect even fully vaccinated and boosted people easily. The variant’s spread dovetailed unfortunately with holiday travel and gatherings, and infections are at their highest levels seen since the pandemic started in some areas.

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LAUSD earlier this week made it mandatory for students and staff to have proof of a negative COVID test before they could return to campus and has started handing out free tests at its grab-and-go sites. Schools in Malibu and La Cañada Flintridge have also had to delay students returning to their respective campuses due to high positivity rates.