How covid-19 is affecting LAUSD

California's senator Governor Gavin Newsom has set a new way of determining when business and schools should reopen.

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A line up of school bus in a parking lot.

By Andrew Vega

On Friday, August 28, Governor Newsom released the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” which went into effect on Monday. It is now the new way in which states determine when businesses and schools can reopen.

The blueprint includes a color-coded system that is divided into 4 colored tiers. This color-coded system tracks counties based on daily new cases and the number of positive tests. Purple (Tier 1) is the Widespread tier. Most of the schools in this tier are closed for in-person instruction unless they meet certain conditions. Red (Tier 2) is a Substantial Tier. Schools in this tier may reopen for in-person instructions after they have remained in the Red Tier for 14 days. Orange (Tier 3) is the Moderate tier. Schools in this tier can reopen for in-person instructions based on state and county guidance. Yellow (Tier 4) is the Minimal tier. Schools in this tier can also reopen for in-person instructions based on state and county guidance.

So far, no schools have reopened for in-person instruction in LA. Some public and private schools were planning to open their schools for in person instruction after Labor Day, after they had stayed off the list for the required two weeks.  But according to the new ranking system Orange County is now in Tier 1, with a purple color code, which means they couldn’t offer in-classroom instruction”, says the staff at EdSource, an organization specialized in highlighting strategies for student success. 

Even if some schools do meet the color-coded requirements it does not mean they have decided to open up for in-person instructions. However, the schools that do will need to take precautions.

LAUSD, along with all of the other school districts in California, is following the new color-coded system. When LAUSD schools reopen students and staff will have to screen themselves for COVID-19 using a new app. LA Unified’s superintendent Austin Beutner gave more details, “Each step from signing on, to checking for symptoms, or scheduling a test can be accessed in real time via the device and Internet access schools have provided to all students and their families.”

The plan also calls for COVID-19 testing of all students and staff members, as well as their family members who might have been exposed to the virus. Testing will start with staff currently working on campuses.