LAUSD Requiring All Staff And Students, Vaccinated Or Not, To Take COVID-19 Tests Before New School Year Starts
Los Angeles Unified School District officials will require all students and employees — whether they’re vaccinated or not — to get a COVID-19 test before the new school year begins on Aug. 16, and to participate in weekly testing once they're back on campuses.
LAUSD leaders, who announced the change in policy Thursday, are planning for a full year of on-campus instruction with few of last spring's pandemic restrictions. District officials had been planning to only require unvaccinated students and staff to take the tests.
Late on Wednesday, though, the L.A. County Department of Public Health posted new guidance recommending that schools screen both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals for COVID-19 "if testing capacity allows." LAUSD officials say they're now following this updated guidance.
JUST IN: @LASchools has decided to ALL students and employees — **whether they're vaccinated or not** — must get a #COVID19 test between Aug. 2 and the start of school on Aug. 16.— Kyle Stokes (@kystokes) July 29, 2021
During the year, all staff and students will get tested weekly — again, regardless of vax status. pic.twitter.com/257I489QMA
"Ultimately, the greatest protection against COVID and the Delta variant is vaccination," said Megan Reilly, LAUSD's interim superintendent, in an email sent district-wide. "We encourage everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated."
LAUSD will require students to take a "baseline" test within the two weeks before school begins Aug. 16. While theoretically a test taken starting Aug. 2 would satisfy the district's requirement, officials have been urging students and staff to schedule their tests for sometime in the seven days before school starts.
Last spring, the district did not allow students and staff without valid test results to enter campuses.
Once school begins, LAUSD will send mobile teams to campuses to offer weekly COVID-19 tests.