LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – For the first time in the 2021-22 school year, COVID-19 has caused a school closure in Los Angeles County, according to the LA Times.
View Park Preparatory High School is an accelerated charter school within the Los Angeles Unified School District that closed its doors to students and faculty on Monday, October 18.READ MORE: Most Popular Dog And Cat Names Of 2021: Is Your Pet's Name On The List?
They have resorted back to remote learning for a week following a series of positive COVID tests that were administered on Thursday. While staff awaited the results of the tests, the View Park football team faced off against Crenshaw High School on Friday evening, a game which they lost 55-0.
The following day, staff received the report that 15 students tested positive for the virus, including one staff member and one football team member.
The Crenshaw High football team is now under quarantine, and their game against Locke High School cancelled, due to their exposure to the virus during their game on Friday. There is still no timetable from LAUSD for Crenshaw’s team to return from quarantine, putting their season in jeopardy.
The 15 infections at View Park were more than the entire school year combined, with just two positive cases coming back over the last three weeks of the school year.READ MORE: CHiPs For Kids | Donation Information
While there have been larger outbreaks at schools in the surrounding areas, school officials saw the suddenly skyrocketing numbers as cause for concern, especially since 300 of the students would’ve been sent home due to close contact concerns with those students who did test positive.
Until now, LAUSD had reported few large outbreaks due to a strict set of regulations within L.A. County. According to the LA Times, Gavin Newsom commented on the efforts this week, citing that of the more than 2,300 school closings nationwide, only 18 of them had occurred in California – less than 1% of the national total.
“In an abundance of caution, we are in virtual learning this week,” Parker Hudnut, CEO of ICEF Public Schools told the LA Times in a statement. “We are also using this time to work with the county to understand if there is anything else we should be doing. To me, it is an example of how insidious COVID can be despite masks, screenings, weekly testing and vaccines for staff.”
Students are supposed to return to school on Thursday for a series of follow-up tests. Of the 408 students registered to View Park High School, 345 were tested on October 14, as the school makes a serious effort to tests students on a weekly basis.
This week, View Park would have been celebrating homecoming. Instead, they have cancelled their homecoming football game and any activities involved with the event. The school had already cancelled the homecoming dance due to safety concerns.
“Every student currently has a laptop, access to a hotspot, if needed, and uses their computer at home every night,” Hudnut told the paper. “Teachers use their laptops, and we have our built-in video cameras in every ICEF classroom. Therefore, switching from in-person instruction to online instruction is technically not overly complicated. However, the social-emotional toll of returning to virtual learning and feeling like we are never going to be free from this pandemic is the bigger issue.”MORE NEWS: CHiPs For Kids Toy Drive Kicks Off For 2021
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)