LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A bold program to provide coronavirus testing to the tens of thousands of students and staff in the Los Angeles Unified School District is getting underway this week.
While all students are still taking online instruction, LAUSD announced Monday that it will begin testing all employees who are currently working on campuses, along with their children who are in childcare programs at those schools. There’s about 3,000 children who will be in childcare.
5,400 employees and their children were tested last week as part of the final trial phase of the program, the district said. Of those, seven came back positive for the disease.
Once all students are back on campuses for in-person learning, whenever that may be, the district hopes on conducting about 40,000 tests per day. Testing will also be provided to household members of students or staff.
There will be an initial baseline test provided to every student and staff member, followed up by periodic testing “based on advice from epidemiologists,” the district said in a news release.
“There is no other school district doing this, but we think it’s necessary and appropriate, because this will provide the foundation for all to be back in schools for a safe a manner as possible,” Beutner said in a news conference Monday.
LAUSD has close to 700,000 students and nearly 75,000 teachers and employees working across 1,386 schools.
The program, which was first announced in mid-August, is designed to provide regular coronavirus testing and contact tracing to students and staff. It is expected to cost $150 million.
Among those collaborating on the program are UCLA, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Microsoft, Anthem Blue Cross, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Health Net.