The Number of Students Testing Positive in Los Angeles Increases at K-12 Schools After Spring Break

Los Angeles–With the highly infectious BA.2 subvariant dominating in LA County and increased gatherings over the Spring Break and holidays, more students and staff tested positive this past week than prior to Spring break.

For the week ending April 22, there were 1,842 positive tests among the 529,000 tests administered, resulting in a test positivity rate of 0.35%. There were 844 positive tests among 450,000 tests administered for the week ending April 8 and test positivity was 0.19%. While test positivity at schools remains very low, an increase in positive cases serves as a reminder that students and staff should continue to use common-sense safety measures

School-associated outbreaks also increased slightly from the week before Spring Break, with 13 outbreaks (six in elementary schools, one in a middle school, two in high schools, and four in youth sports) for the week ending April 23. The week before Spring Break, there were 11 outbreaks (seven in elementary schools, one in a middle school, and three in high schools) for the week ending April 9.

To promote safety at schools, Public Health is working with partners to continue easy access to COVID-19 vaccines at campuses with 744 school-based vaccination clinics scheduled for May. These sites offer pediatric doses for ages 5-11, as well as vaccines and boosters for eligible individuals 12 years of age and older. As a reminder, vaccines continue to provide the best protection against illness and hospitalizations and are the safest way to keep children in school and participating in other activities.

With high rates of virus transmission in the County and more individuals testing positive at schools, Public Health recommends a series of sensible steps that will provide layers of protection against COVID-19 and keep students in schools. It is important that asymptomatic students exposed to COVID-19 and remaining in school, follow updated testing and masking requirements.

The updated exposure guidance for K-12 schools is aligned with the quarantine safety protocols for the general public and requires that asymptomatic students who are close contacts remain masked indoors when around others, except while eating or drinking, for 10 days after last exposure. Asymptomatic exposed students are also required to test within three to five days after last exposure. These measures can help contain the spread of infection and curtail outbreaks.

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