LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has provided a “planning grant'' to the Los Angeles Unified School District in support of its planned program for testing students, staff and their families for the coronavirus, the district announced today.
Cedars-Sinai joins a list of organizations working with the district on the testing program and related community-engagement program, including UCLA, Stanford University, John Hopkins University, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, Microsoft, SummerBio and Clinical Research Laboratories.
“We have put together a group of extraordinary institutions to help, and I'm pleased Cedars-Sinai, a world-class medical organization, has joined the team and is providing funds to help plan the program,'' Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “This program will help reduce the overall level of COVID-19 in the communities we serve, provide a baseline of information to prepare for a return to schools and help schools quickly isolate any individuals with the virus and test those who they may have come in contact with on a timely basis.''
While LAUSD classes are being held remotely, the district's testing program will begin with staff who are working at school campuses, along with their children who are in child care. The effort is expected to begin “soon after Labor Day.'' The program will then spread to staff and students in the coming weeks.
Beutner said earlier it will cost an estimated $300 per student per year to pay for tests and contact tracing for students, staff and family members. But he said the benefits outweigh the costs, saying, “This is about something that can't be measured in dollars and cents; it's about creating opportunity for children. A good education is the path out of poverty for many students and the promise of a better future for all of them.''
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