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30 Jul, 2021 00:33

Los Angeles school district mandates weekly Covid-19 tests for returning students and staff, regardless of vaccination status

Los Angeles school district mandates weekly Covid-19 tests for returning students and staff, regardless of vaccination status

After Los Angeles County, California’s most populous, reimposed the wearing of masks, even for the vaccinated, one school district has gone a step further, mandating weekly tests for all returning students and staff.

Covid-19 testing for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, will start on August 2, “in accordance with the most recent guidance” from the LA County Department of Public Health,” the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced on Thursday.

LAUSD is “closely monitoring evolving health conditions and adapting our response in preparation for our full return to in-person learning on August 16,” wrote interim superintendent Megan Reilly.

Previously, the LAUSD had required Covid-19 tests only for those who had not yet received a vaccine. 

“We believe Los Angeles Unified has the highest [Covid] safety standards of any public school district in the nation. Our preparations for the start of the new school year include continuing to require masking for all students, staff, and visitors; maximizing physical distancing as much as possible; continuing comprehensive sanitizing efforts, including frequent hand washing; upgraded air filtration systems; regular, ongoing [Covid] testing and community engagement; and collaborating with health partners and agencies to support free [Covid] vaccination,” Reilly added.

Also on rt.com Los Angeles County brings back mask mandate, regardless of vaccine status, after rise in Covid-19 cases

The policy change comes after the county brought back the mask mandate in mid-July, even for fully vaccinated residents, citing the rise in coronavirus cases attributed to the Delta variant. The LA County sheriff has said his department would not enforce the order, however.

Many universities, companies, and corporations across the US have tried to compel students and employees to get vaccinated by saying those that do not would be subjected to weekly testing and mask requirements. LAUSD may be the first in the nation to mandate testing and masks regardless.

Also on rt.com Biden orders mandatory Covid vaccines or tests for all federal employees, plus masks for workers and visitors

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has pushed for vaccination mandates at federal agencies, and reimposed masking orders on vaccinated Americans – having rescinded them in May – based on the controversial assessment by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that vaccines do not completely prevent the Delta variant of the virus from spreading.

LAUSD maintained that vaccination is “ultimately, the greatest protection” against all variants of Covid-19. It was unclear how having to submit to mandatory testing and masking would do anything to incentivize students and staff to vaccinate, however.

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