LAUSD COVID-19 testing revealed 177 positive cases among staff, students before schools reopened

Mandatory COVID-19 testing for Los Angeles Unified students and staff revealed 177 positive cases among students and staff before they returned to school, Superintendent Austin Beutner said Monday.

Over the last two weeks, 72 employees and 105 students tested positive for COVID-19 before their school opened. 

"That's 177 people with the virus our testing program has kept safely isolated and not in schools," Beutner said.

All students and staff were required to get tested for the virus prior to returning to in-person learning.

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"This testing program is an important part of each school’s COVID safety plan," Beutner said in early April.

Additionally, all LAUSD students are required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. If a student is absent on the day tests are administered at their school, the student may attend school and test the following week, according to LAUSD protocol. If the student is absent on the testing day the following week, a new negative test is required before they attend in-person instruction.

LAUSD COVID-19 testing centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. For details, call the Family Hotline at 213-443-1300. For details about receiving a free vaccination at a school, the Family Vaccination Hotline is 213-328-3958.

Last summer, LAUSD officials brought together Stanford, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, Cedars-Sinai and SummerBio to help them create the nation’s most comprehensive school-based COVID testing program, while Microsoft built the software to schedule the tests and share the information with the school community and health authorities.

This past week, LAUSD 61 elementary schools and 11 early education centers opened their doors to welcome students back to campuses for the first time in about 14 months. 

RELATED: LAUSD superintendent details plan for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing for students, staff, families