Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner announced Monday the school district has created a COVID-19 testing system ahead of students potentially returning to campus.
In an email sent to parents, Beutner said the tests will help the nation's largest school district safely reopen even as the number of cases of the coronavirus continue to rise.
"The health practices are in place. Classrooms and facilities are electrostatically cleaned top to bottom, air-conditioning systems have been upgraded with the equivalent of N-95 filters, personal protective equipment is provided to all individuals at a campus and classrooms and facilities have been reconfigured to keep all at a school a safer distance apart. When students do return to schools, they’ll be kept in small cohorts to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. And as we learn of other ways to enhance health practices, we’ll incorporate them as quickly as possible," Beutner wrote.
Beutner said all students and staff will be offered an initial, baseline COVID-19 test within the next few weeks.
"As you can imagine, with almost 700,000 students and more than 75,000 employees, it will take some time to complete. Once the elementary students are receiving tests, we’ll begin to offer testing to middle and high school students as well. Testing will also be offered to family members of those who test positive or show symptoms of the virus," Beutner wrote.
He said the tests will help provide valuable information about the number of COVID-19 cases in students' communities and urged parents to download a new app the school district is using to help facilitate the tests.
"The testing process is simple. You’ll receive a notice from your child’s principal (for students) or immediate supervisor (for employees) that it’s time to be tested. Future notifications will be sent electronically via the new Daily Pass App. You can make an appointment online, using a phone or computer including the one Los Angeles Unified has provided, at one of the many schools where testing is being provided."
Beutner said tests will be free and the process should take less than 10 minutes.
"Much like efforts to screen for tuberculosis or other infectious diseases, this program will be more effective if everyone is part of it. We’ll continue to keep you informed on our plans to bring students back to schools in the safest way possible," Beutner wrote. "Thank you for your continued patience and support."
More information can be found at https://achieve.lausd.net/covidtesting.
Photo: Getty Images