The Los Angeles Unified School District is one of the largest in the country, with roughly 600,000 students enrolled. There is an equally massive number of teachers and other staff personnel employed to support all of those children. And like school districts across the country, LAUS is struggling with the challenges of how to safely return to in-person classes this fall. In a move that they are describing as “unprecedented,” the District Superintendent announced this week that they will launch a program to test every single student and staff member for COVID-19 prior to restarting classes. The scope of this effort is certainly mind-boggling, but even if it’s possible for them to do it, how effective will such an effort be in ensuring the safety of all involved? (The Guardian)
In the most ambitious plan of its kind, Los Angeles Unified has announced plans to test its roughly 600,000 students and 75,000 employees as the nation’s second-largest school district prepares for the eventual return to in-person instruction.
The superintendent of Los Angeles Unified, Austin Beutner, said in a statement the program will provide regular Covid testing and contact tracing for school staff, students and families.
“Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary actions, and while this testing and contact tracing effort is unprecedented, it is necessary and appropriate,” Beutner said.
So let’s stop and think about what’s about to take place in Los Angeles County. Even setting aside the massive cost of this, how effective can it be and what lasting impact will it have on school safely?