Los Angeles Schools Will Test All Students and Staff for Covid
The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Thursday that it will require all students and employees returning for in-person instruction to participate in weekly coronavirus testing.
The decision is a policy change for the school district, which is the second largest in the United States. The largest, in New York, recently announced that all teachers and school staff must be vaccinated before classes resume on September 13 or be tested weekly.
Previously, the Los Angeles School District only required testing for unvaccinated students and staff. Officials said the new requirement was in line with the most recent guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It comes as the average number of cases in Los Angeles County has risen 119% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times database.
The spread of the more contagious Delta variant has left many parents worried about what will happen when students return to class in the fall. “We believe Los Angeles Unified has the highest Covid safety standards of any public school district in the country,” Acting Superintendent Megan K. Reilly wrote in an email to parents.
She urged everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated, calling it “the greatest protection against Covid and the Delta variant”.
Testing in Los Angeles schools will begin on August 2 with a return to full in-person learning on August 16.
“Evidence is mounting that vaccinated individuals may be part of chains of transmission,” said Dr. Anne W. Rimoin, professor of epidemiology at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Any testing regimen that does not include people who have been vaccinated will be incomplete and put people at risk.”
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