Safely Opening Schools

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: Bulletin 1

Released April 5, 2022

For the most recent updates regarding the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health TK-12 Schools COVID-19 Toolkit, please click here

For schools enrolled in the California K-12 School Antigen Testing Program, please refer to the CDPH Bulletin.


Testing is still an important Public Health tool

What’s coming next? While the Omicron surge has declined dramatically, over 1,000 Americans are still dying daily from COVID-19. Europe is in the midst of a second Omicron surge fueled by the even more infectious (though not more severe) Omicron BA.2 variant, which is now becoming dominant in the US. US wastewater monitoring is also suggesting rising COVID-19 again, and some states are seeing rising rates. While it is unclear how significant any increase will be, it is not the time to decrease readiness or testing.

  • In most California schools, masks are now strongly recommended. Testing continues to be a key public health tool to stop the spread in schools, and out to households and the community.
    • COVID hasn’t stopped, why stop free testing flyer (linked below) 

At-home tests: More than 10 million at-home rapid tests are being distributed by FEMA and County Offices of Education to allow families to test before gatherings during Spring Break, and before return-to-school. Coordinating with families to input at-home test results on Primary.Health helps with data tracking and community-awareness of COVID-19 spread.

If your school has not heard about when to expect the tests contact your County Office of Education.

Please see below for example


How to offer vaccines and host vaccination events

Vaccinate to limit the spread of Covid! The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) School Vaccine Team can provide support to schools in coordinating COVID vaccine clinics.

Promote your vaccine event (and vaccinations in general) to your school community

    • Vaccination Importance flyer

COVID-19 Vaccine: A message from our youth

In the News 


Masking: Research shows that schools with mandatory masking during the delta surge had approximately 72% fewer cases of in-school transmission of COVID-19 when compared to schools with optional or partial-masking policies. The study by the National Institutes of Health included more than 1.1 million students and over 157,000 staff at schools in nine states, including California.  

  • If everyone is not required to mask indoors at your school, make sure that – at a minimum – people who return early after isolation and test negative, mask until 10 days have passed, and all those who have been exposed are masking. 
In the News


In a recent news article, Barbara “Ferrer reported that testing is still one of our most important tools for fighting the spread of COVID-19, and in particular she lauded the efforts of LAUSD, which quickly ramped up testing capacity at local schools last spring, and has maintained that level of effort and availability at nearly 100% of district schools ever since.”


5-11 Year Olds Fully Vaccinated in LA County

participating charter and private schools


12-17 Year Olds Fully Vaccinated in la county

participating school districts in los angeles county

Contact Heluna Health


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Data reflects testing and cases reported by the California Department of Public Health state dashboard and Safely Opening Schools’ training initiatives.

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Safely Opening Schools is a project of the Public Health Institute, (PHI) PHI has been a leader in public health and development for over 50 years. PHI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a vision of creating healthy communities where individuals reach their highest potential. Safely Opening Schools is part of PHIs Prevention Policy Group, which works on policy approaches involved in safely opening public schools after Covid-19.