Saturday, May 30, 2020

Schools issue warning: Coronavirus testing and tracing are needed before campuses reopen

From the Los Angeles Times, reporters Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli, May 30, 2020. Full story here.

Raising the possibility that campuses won't reopen in the fall, leaders of the state's two largest K-12 school systems on Friday demanded that public health authorities, not school districts, take the lead on setting up coronavirus testing and contact tracing of students and employees.

Los Angeles Supt. Austin Beutner and San Diego Supt. Cindy Marten — whose combined districts represent 915,000 children and workers — issued a public warning: Either their school districts get more funding and assertive health department intervention or they can't consider reopening campuses in the fall.

"Opening our schools will not be as easy as separating desks or placing pieces of tape on the floor," Beutner and Marten said in their statement. "A robust system of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing will need to be in place before we can consider reopening schools. Local health authorities, not school districts, have to lead the way on testing, contact tracing and a clear set of protocols on how to respond to any occurrence of the virus."

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