It’s not clear when students will be able to return to campus at Los Angeles Unified schools, but the district wants to be ready when that does happen. LAUSD is launching its own COVID-19 testing program Monday.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner believes the key to getting students back to campus is the coronavirus testing program he’s been talking about for months.

“This plan, though unprecedented, is necessary and appropriate,” Beutner said during a previous news conference.

Since Labor Day, a test run has been underway with the staff and students attending school-based day care.

Younger students will provide saliva samples and nasal swab tests will be provided by older students. Parental consent must be given before the COVID-19 testing is performed.

District administrators believe the 700,000-plus students, 75,000 staffers and family members who may have been exposed to the virus must receive COVID testing in order to safely open campuses.

“One case of the virus quickly becomes many. All students and staff leave school and confusion reigns. The school becomes a haunted house nobody wants to return to,” Beutner said.

Reporting any positive results to the LA County Public Health Department is a large component of the testing. The department will assist in contact tracing.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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