LOS ANGELES (CNS) – With the start of classes less than two weeks away, Los Angeles Unified School District officials reiterated to parents that many of the hard-line COVID-19-control measures that have been in effect over the past year are being dropped.
Most notably, students and staff will no longer need to undergo weekly COVID testing. Mask-wearing will still be only strongly recommended indoors, and the district’s COVID vaccination requirement for students remains on hold until at least next year.
LAUSD will employ a “response testing” protocol for the school year that begins Aug. 15.
“Instead of requiring every student and employee to test weekly with a PCR test, only those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive, will be required to test,” according to the district.
That testing can be done with take-home rapid antigen tests.
Students also will no longer be required to update their health and testing status on the district’s Daily Pass system to access campuses each day. The system will remain in general use, allowing students to upload the results of “response testing” or vaccination records. The system will also be used “to notify close contacts of a person who has tested positive.”
“We know that COVID-19 is here to stay,” district officials wrote in a message posted on the LAUSD website Tuesday. “As we have entered into a new phase of this virus where we have accessible at-home testing, vaccinations for COVID-19 and therapeutics available for treatment, Los Angeles Unified is able to nimbly adjust to changing conditions.”
Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate at home for at least five days. They can leave isolation on day six, assuming their symptoms are improving, they test negative for the virus and they remain fever-free for 24 hours.
Employees who leave isolation after the five-day period will be required to wear a “highly protective mask” at all times in the workplace until 10 days after the initial positive test. Students will be strongly recommended to wear a mask for the 10-day period after they exit isolation.