By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Unified School District announced on Sunday the launch of a program that will provide regular coronavirus testing and contact tracing.

“Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary actions, and while this testing and contact-tracing effort is unprecedented, it is necessary and appropriate,” superintendent Austin Beutner said. “This will provide a public health benefit to the school community as well as the greater Los Angeles area.

Beutner said the program, which starts Monday, will assist school staff, students and their families.

Coronavirus tests first will be provided to staff already working at schools and their children, then over time it will be offered to all staff and students.

Beutner said testing also will be provided to people who live in the same households of students and staff who test positive for the virus or have shown symptoms.

The program was created through a collaboration between LAUSD and scientists from UCLA, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Microsoft and several healthcare companies AnthemBlue Cross and Health Net.

“Since schools were closed, science has been our guide and science creates the foundation for this effort,” Beutner said. “This collaboration is the result of months of around-the-clock work by many, and I’m grateful for their efforts to get us to this point.”

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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