62,000 students, school staff in Los Angeles test positive for COVID-19

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(The Hill) — Roughly 62,000 students and staff in the Los Angeles Unified School District have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the district’s return to school on Tuesday.

As CNN reported, 414,000 test results have been recorded in the district, the nation’s second largest. Of those tests, roughly 15% have tested positive.

This positivity rate is significantly below Los Angeles’s overall positivity rate, which is currently at 22%.

“We’re all systems go,” school district spokesperson Shannon Haber told CNN. According to Haber, about 4,000 credentialed staff members are prepared to jump in to teach if needed.

All students in the district are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test before returning to school this week.

In a welcome back message for students, Supt. Megan Reilly said, “There may be a few lines at the start of the school day and longer wait times for buses. I wanna express my appreciation for your continued patience and partnership. Keeping our schools is a top priority and we truly thank you for doing your part.”

Last week, the school district handed out free, at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits for students in preparation for the return to classes. The return to classes comes as many districts across the U.S. have begun shutting down schools in light of the highly infectious COVID-19 omicron variant.

The Biden administration has placed its support behind in-person learning, pushing its “test to stay” policy for classrooms to reduce absences and quarantining among students.

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