Safely Opening Schools

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: Bulletin 3

Released May 27, 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

  • With cases continuing to rise, health officers across California’s SF Bay Area urge people to return to indoor masking, among other preventive measures. COVID cases and positivity rates have risen throughout April and May across California, and nationally, due to a new Omicron subvariant. In May, hospitalizations and deaths also rose. Masks and testing remain important public health tools to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID. 

  • Schools can order at-home tests now! Public, charter and private/independent schools, as well as camps that serve K-12 students are invited to apply for free at-home tests through a partnership between the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://labsupport.powerappsportals.us/cdcotc/
    • Weekly requests are due 12:00 PM PST on Fridays through June 17, 2022.
    • If you have questions regarding this program please email schoolOTC@cdph.ca.gov 
  • The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is pleased to facilitate sharing of knowledge and innovation approaches that are being generated by schools and public health professionals throughout California. Visit this link for current and previous issues including resources and tools that are shared amongst districts.
POLICY Update 

SB 1479 (Pan)

SOS is proud to support SB 1479: 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. 

  • SB 1479 has passed in the Senate and now goes to the Assembly. 
  • To track the latest updates on SB 749, please see here.

AB 2107 (Flora)

SOS is also supporting AB 2107 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.

  • AB 2107 passed in the Assembly. 
  • To track the latest updates on AB 2107, please see here.

SB 866 (Wiener)

Great news! SB 866, the Teens Choose Vaccines Act passed the Senate. SB 866 would allow people 12 years of age and older to get vaccinated without a parent’s consent. This includes all vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  • To track the latest updates on SB 866, please see here.

COVID-19 Variants

COVID continues to evolve and become more infectious with each new variant

See COVID Variants flyer to learn more.

    vaccination

    The FDA announced that children ages 5-11 would be eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster

    • Read more about the booster for children here.
    • COVID Mobile Vaccine Clinic pop-up events are available to all K-12 schools (public, charter and private) at NO COST to the school! LA County Department of Public Health will connect interested schools with a contracted mobile provider. The school is responsible for marketing the event to families and ensuring students show up to the event to get vaccinated. If you have any questions, please email chs@ph.lacounty.gov.

    • SOS is working with FACES Public Health Youth Corps on a peer-to-peer COVID-19 Educator program for school districts throughout California. The program will prepare high school students from vulnerable communities for future health professions and train students to become trusted health advocates in their community to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Students will also obtain important public health certifications including mental health first aid, CPR/Basic Cardiac Life Support & First Aid, and Community Health Worker certifications, among others. 
    primary.health

    Message from Primary

    • Primary.Health is offering Back-to-School Process Overview Sessions on Thursdays, 12:15 – 1:00 pm PST Click here for Registration 
    • Primary.Health will soon be releasing two new features: 
      • Bulk negative results: Schools will be able to quickly result in hundreds of negative rapid antigen tests at a time. 
      • Vaccine upload function: Within Primary.Health, schools will be able to request students’ and staffs’ vaccination status. 

    In the News

    The federal government has announced that a 3rd round of free COVID tests are available for delivery by the USPS. This order includes 8 tests. Place your order on the USPS website.

    CDPH has developed several checklists that are available for guidance as administrators plan school events for end of year gatherings. 

    With cases on the rise, some school districts are increasing testing and requiring indoor masks for end-of-year gatherings and celebrations. For some, the testing is done by COVID-sniffing dogs.

    District Spotlight

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

    Bravo to the Covina Valley Unified School District for bringing 25 staff members to the PHI Rapid Antigen Test Training on May 5th. SOS recognizes your inspiring dedication to preventing COVID outbreaks at schools through preemptive continuation of testing, a key mitigation tool. 

    A Covina Valley team member shared, “We are seeing that cases are starting to increase at a time when [others] are dropping [their] preparedness. We want to be prepared for the next surge!” 

    Congratulations for planning ahead! Thank you to Nicole Salas, BSN, RN, PHN, C-VUSD Health Services Coordinator, and your colleagues for your commitment to keeping students and staff safer in school.

    Oakland Testing

    %

    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

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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.