Brushing their teeth and combing their hair won’t be the only morning rituals for students and staff once LA Unified schools reopen; they’ll also have to screen themselves for COVID-19 using a new app.
LA Unified’s superintendent Austin Beutner offered more details on the district’s plan for reopening schools, including the "Back To School" app Tuesday.
“Each step from signing on, to checking for symptoms, or scheduling a test can be accessed in real time via the device and Internet access schools have provided to all students and their families," said Austin Beutner, the superintendent for LAUSD. “The goal is to make sure every member of the school community has the greenlight to safely enter school each day. And if there are any caution signs or indications of the virus, the individual can be quickly connected with the appropriate health professionals."
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The reopening plan also calls for COVID-19 testing for all 700,000 students and 75,000 staff members, plus their family members who may have been exposed to the virus.
Testing will begin with staff currently working on campuses and the 2,000 children who will start school-based day care after Labor Day.
Results will be given to parents, who must also give consent before their children are tested. Younger students will provide saliva samples by spitting into a tube. The U.S company will provide the district with test kits that can be done anywhere.
Nasal swab testing will be available for older students and adults. Both tests are designed to give rapid results with the goal of quickly isolating positive cases, which will be reported to the county public health department, who will assist with contact tracing.