Safely Opening Schools

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: Bulletin 2

Released May 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.

important notes

Cases: After declining in March, COVID cases and positivity rates have risen throughout April, nationally, and across California, due to a new Omicron subvariant. Hospitalizations have risen somewhat but deaths have not. Masks and testing remain important public health tools to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID. 

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

Los Angeles Department of Public Health has also provided updates on quarantine, masking requirements and close contact definition for TK-12. Click on the links for updated information from LADPH on when you need to wear a mask (English, Spanish). Masks are still required in some settings and strongly recommended in others. It is strongly recommended that people continue to wear masks that fit and filter well in all indoor public places.

POLICY Update 

SB 1479 (Pan)

SOS is proud to support SB 1479 (Pan): COVID-19 School Testing. SB 1479 is an act to require local educational agencies to create and implement COVID-19 testing plans that are consistent with CDPH’s COVID-19 school testing guidelines. SB 1479 provides a statewide testing protocol that ensures that children – regardless of their socioeconomic or racial background – learn in a safer environment. Having a plan in place to test for COVID-19 is fundamental for keeping our schools open and safer. 

  • SB 1479 has successfully passed both the Senate Health Committee and Senate Education Committee.

AB 2107 (Flora)

SOS is also supporting AB 2107 (Flora) which will allow appropriately-trained non-health professionals – who are not school employees, e.g. parent volunteers or a child’s own parent in school and/or community settings – to conduct rapid antigen tests and perform an anterior nasal swab in the small number of children who cannot self-swab, such as some children with disabilities. 

COVID-19 Testing

Why is it important for students to continue with regular participation in COVID-19 testing at school?

 

  • As we approach the end of the school year, testing still remains a useful tool to limit the spread of COVID. The CDC created a video (available below) to address the importance of students participating in regular COVID-19 testing at school.

    • Private insurance companies are providing coverage/reimbursement for up to 8 rapid antigen tests/person/month. For detailed information about where to get the tests and how to get reimbursement through insurance read this article.

    • Reporting results from at-home tests on the Primary.Health site helps counties keep track of COVID cases in the community (please see below for example). While reporting is voluntary, schools can strongly recommend and encourage reporting by sending consistent messaging, sending custom communications through Primary, as well as doing mass outreach to parents, students, and staff about the importance of reporting.  
    DIstrict spotlight

    Hawthorne School District 

    Dr. Brian Markarian, Ed.D, Associate Superintendent and Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator for the Hawthorne School District, has set the example for the outstanding organization and execution of the Heluna Health Fast Rapid Antigen Program across his school sites.

    Dr. Markarian ensures new staff who are added to the program complete the necessary training requirements. He has organized inventory numbers across his school sites in preparation of a possible summer COVID-19 surge.

    We commend Dr. Brian Markarian for his vision and work towards assuring that the schools in Hawthorne School District are kept open and safe for its students, staff, and families.

    If your school/district is interested in hosting a private Rapid Antigen Training or would like a refresher Rapid Antigen Training, please contact Francisco@SafelyOpeningSchools.org

    test before you go

    COVID has not ended, why stop testing? 

    Schools can encourage testing, particularly around end-of-year large gatherings, like prom, graduation, and sporting events. 

    LA County Department of Public Health recently issued guidance around Commencement Ceremonies. 

    Below are examples of how to promote testing for school-based events. 

    covid-19

    Vaccination

    While there is promise of a vaccine for children under 5, the youngest people in our communities are still not able to be vaccinated.

    SOS is creating messages for teens on the importance of vaccinations. Check out our Instagram, and share with middle- and high-school students.

    In the News

    Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that effective April 22, a new public health order in LA County reinstates the mask-wearing requirement on public transit.

    While a federal judge removed the transportation mask mandate, the Justice Department appealed the mask ruling after the CDC said that the mandate “remains necessary for public health.” Masks remain an important public health tool. 

    Now is not the time to lift public health precautions. We have to continue working together to protect one another so that we can keep society safer, open and accessible to everyone. 

    %

    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

    Website: https://lacros.freshservice.com/support/home

    Submit an e-ticket: helpdesk@lacros.freshservice.com

    Call Center: (562) 222-7795

    School Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

    In partnership with

    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.