Mandatory baseline testing and a new date to return to campus

Employees and students in Los Angeles County are expected to have a negative covid-19 test and follow the new health and safety protocols before stepping foot on campus next semester

A+nurse+prepares+a+nasal+swab+covid-19+test+for+students+and+faculty+on+May+12%2C+2021+on+campus+in+the+quad.+

CREDIT: IVAN DELGADO | THE MIRROR

A nurse prepares a nasal swab covid-19 test for students and faculty on May 12, 2021 on campus in the quad.

What is happening | After covid cases surged as a result of the Omicron variant, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced today that all staff and K-12 students in the Los Angeles County need to obtain proof of a negative covid test before schools reopen Jan.11. 

Students will not be back on Jan. 10, as it will be a Pupil Free Day for staff. Regardless of one’s vaccination status, baseline testing will be required in order to be on campus. Beginning today, students and staff are able to get a baseline test at any Los Angeles Unified Site through https://achieve.lausd.net/covidtestingappt, where they can find a map of testing locations.

Families can upload an external antigen, at-home or PCR test for their child on their Daily Pass account before Jan. 9. Free covid-19 at-home rapid self-tests will be available for pickup on Jan. 7 to 8 from 8 a.m. until noon at Grab & Go sites, which can be located through a map on https://achieve.lausd.net/covid. 

LAUSD has also made additional changes to their health and safety protocols to better protect students and staff prior to returning to school. This includes weekly testing throughout the month of January, reinforced masking indoors and outdoors, required vaccinations for students 12 and older starting the Fall 2022 semester and required Daily Pass health screening for anyone who enters a school campus. 

YOUTUBE

Why does it matter | This announcement transpired following the dramatic burst in covid-19 cases across the area of Los Angeles County, in which the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 23,535 new cases on Saturday and another 21,000 cases on Sunday. 

Due to this, officials wanted to implement essential public health safety measures that would slow the spread and ensure the safety of all individuals, whether they are attending school or working. LAUSD fully suggests that students wear well-fitted, non-cloth masks with a nose wire, whereas staff should wear surgical grade masks or higher. These masks will be provided at LAUSD’s testing and Grab & Go sites as well. 

As for vaccinations, anyone five years or older can obtain the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, whereas anyone 16 or older can obtain Booster shots approximately six months prior to their second dose. Vaccination sites can be found on https://achieve.lausd.net/covidvaccineappt

Who does this apply to | All employees and K-12 students in Los Angeles County are required to obtain proof of a negative covid-19 test prior to Jan. 11 in order to be on campus. They are also expected to follow the health and safety protocols modified by LAUSD to keep themselves safe and protected during this rise in cases.