LA school district abandons strict COVID-19 protocols

The Los Angeles Unified School District announced tuesday that it abandon many of its COVID-19 safety protocols, which were among the strictest in the country.

why is it important: The second-largest school district in the nation is changing its rules on testing, masking and vaccination, aligning with other school districts in the region and marking a shift in priorities just two weeks before the new school year.

  • The school district is now “able to quickly adapt to changing conditions” and align with Los Angeles County requirements, LA Unified said in a letter to families just before start day on August 15.
  • Most of the county’s 80 school systems appear to follow a similar pattern, according to the Los Angeles Times. reported.

What’s new: Previously, students and staff had to undergo weekly tests.

  • Now, weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is no longer necessary.
  • Testing will only be required for people with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive.
  • Per the California Department of Public Health’s recommendation, the school district is making rapid antigen testing the primary option for detecting COVID-19 in schools, rather than PCR testing.
  • Symptomatic students and close contacts will receive a rapid home antigen test.
  • Students who become symptomatic or ill at school should wear a mask while waiting to be picked up by a parent or guardian. The school will provide a rapid antigen test kit for the symptomatic student to take home.

For memory : The school district said its employees are already vaccinated, but it encourages “all eligible students to get vaccinated as well.”

The big picture: Last week, LA County decided not to reinstate a universal indoor mask mandate as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations appeared to be trending downward.

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