LAUSD claims successful completion of trial phase of COVID-19 testing program for students, staff

The Los Angeles Unified School District could be one step closer to reopening for on-campus learning.
WILMINGTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Weeks into the fall semester, all Los Angeles Unified School district schools continue with remote learning schedules. But the LAUSD says it has successfully completed the trial phase of its big COVID-19 testing program. This could mean schools could be one step closer to reopening for on-campus learning.

Melissa Lopez is a fourth-grade teacher. She got her first COVID test at Harry Bridges Span School in Wilmington.

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On Eyewitness Newsmakers, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner talked about the latest plans and timeline for reopening local schools.

"I'm happy. I want to see my students back in the classroom," said Lopez. "It's serious but I feel if you're doing the proper things and taking the proper precautions it will be okay."

Superintendent Austin Beutner received a test as well.

"This is the first effort by a public school system anywhere in the nation to test and trace those who may have come in contact with anyone in the school community," said Beutner.

There are 42 testing sites now open for LAUSD employees, and since testing started last week, Beutner says it's already proven effective.

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After two days of remote online orientation, LAUSD began actual classes on Thursday. But remote learning didn't mean being stuck at home for some students who took advantage of a learning center in Echo Park.

"We formally kicked off the program last Thursday. Since then, we've tested about 5,500 people, seven people have tested positive, six adults and one teenager," said Beutner.
The superintendent says while remote learning is working, it's certainly not ideal.

He says as soon as schools can reopen safely, they will; keeping the health of students and staff a top priority.

Lopez says her students are eager.

"They can't wait to be back, they check and Saturdays and Sundays, asking how I am. I in turn ask how they're doing," said Lopez.

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