LAUSD reports two more COVID-19 outbreaks at schools

Two more schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District have experienced a COVID-19 outbreak, a spokeswoman for the nation’s second-largest school district confirmed on Friday, Sept. 3.

Halldale Elementary, in the district’s Harbor Gateway area bordered by Torrance and Carson, reported 17 positive coronavirus cases, of which five were school-based transmissions, according to information on the district’s COVID-19 School Report Card dashboard, last updated at 10 p.m. Thursday.

Plainview Academic Charter Academy in Tujunga, in the San Fernando Valley, reported three positive cases, all of them considered school-based transmissions.

In a statement, the district confirmed that “the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health identified a COVID-19 outbreak” at both schools. The county defines an “outbreak” as three or more cases within 14 days that are epidemiologically linked, meaning the affected individuals were in the same setting at the same time while infected.

At Halldale, the school-based cases were concentrated in two classrooms; at Plainview, the cases were limited to a single classroom, the district said.

The district did not say how many teachers or students are isolating or quarantining at these schools but said that all individuals potentially impacted by these cases have been notified.

So far, three LAUSD schools have experienced outbreaks, according to the district, since the school year began three weeks ago. The first was reported at Grant Elementary in East Hollywood, where the county ultimately confirmed the seven school-based transmission cases.

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While officials have said they expect cases to arise as schools reopen and the delta variant, a more contagious strain of the coronavirus, remains prevalent in the community, health and school officials have maintained that school environments where multiple layers of health and safety measures are practiced — such as masking, physical distancing when possible and improved ventilation — remain safe places overall.

LAUSD reported that as of late Thursday, there were 2,209 active coronavirus cases among staff and students — a mere fraction of the total number of people the district tests each week for the coronavirus. LAUSD is requiring an estimated 524,000 staff and students — those who are working or attending classes on campuses or district work sites — to get tested weekly.

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