LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Due to what he termed “alarming” coronavirus case numbers, students in the Los Angeles Unified School District are not anywhere close to returning to the classroom, the district’s superintendent stressed Monday.
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner announced that when the new semester resumes in mid-January, students will continue with online instruction only.
“It’s clear we’re a long way from reopening schools with a level of virus this high,” Beutner said bluntly.
Beutner noted that L.A. County’s seven-day average of new cases is now hovering around 14,000. It will need to drop drastically, to between 700 and 800, and remain there for one month, before the district will consider reopening campuses.
“Given these numbers, and the state’s health guidelines, it will not be possible for to reopen school campuses by the time next semester starts on Jan. 11,” Beutner said. “We’ll remain in online-only mode until community health conditions improve significantly.”
Since September, LAUSD has been conducting a massive COVID-19 testing program. More than 250,000 school staff, students and students’ families have been tested so far.
Beutner reported Monday that of those tested over the past week, 5% of adults who did not report any exposure or symptoms tested positive for the coronavirus, while another 10% of children with no symptoms also tested positive.
“Think about that, one in 10 children being tested in schools showed no symptoms but had the virus,” Beutner said.
On Dec. 10, in response to the alarming rise in cases countywide, LAUSD suspended all its campus-based instructional and childcare programs. The district had been providing one-on-one and small-group tutoring for students with special needs. It had also been providing childcare for employees and high-needs families, as well as athletic conditioning programs for student athletes.
Testing is being offered at 41 different school locations. For more information, click here.