Through a letter sent out by Superintendent Denise Jaramillo on Aug. 27, weekly testing is now mandatory for all school staff and students on campus due to rising cases present on campus. Official testing began on Sept. 20 after a trial test in the weeks prior.
The test is administered by LifeFitNation Corporate Wellness and all testing costs are paid for by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Each student is given a saliva collection kit, individual sanitizer, and a bag to store the sample for delivery to the testing lab results will be sent to parents within 24 to 48 hours of testing with further instructions.
“In accordance with Governor Newsom’s orders, the Board of Education has directed all AUSD employees to be vaccinated, and for the District to collect the vaccination status of all staff members and students,” Superintendent Jaramillo said.
Test-negative students are allowed to return to school the following day. Students and siblings in the same household who test positive may not return to school and will be given quarantine instructions with the option of Independent Study, where students will learn at home. Students who have been in close contact with the test-positive student will be given further instructions regardless of a negative test result or vaccination status.
“We have a process in a place [called] contract tracing. Because of privacy laws, we work with students who are exposed and tested individually.” said Jesse Torribio, assistant principal of Business and Activities.
For those who cannot continuously wear masks due to underlying medical conditions, the LA County Department of Health “strongly recommend[s] that such students be tested for COVID-19 at least twice weekly.” As weekly COVID-19 testing is being conducted, updated information will become available in the coming weeks.