Los Angeles Unified School District said Thursday it is requiring all students and faculty to be tested for COVID-19 – regardless of their vaccination status – before returning to in-person learning for the new school year.
LAUSD Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said the district’s policy was to comply with the most recent guidance from the Los Angeles County of Public Health.
“All students and employees, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, returning to in-person instruction must participate in baseline and ongoing weekly COVID testing,” Reilly said in a statement provided to Fox News.
The new requirements marked a shift in LAUSD’s previous policy to require testing only for those who are unvaccinated. It comes as the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 is sweeping much of the nation, accounting for more than 80% of infections. The surge has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recommend people who are fully vaccinated should resume wearing masks indoors if they live in areas where the virus is surging.
Los Angeles County, which has emerged as a hotspot of the delta variant in recent weeks, announced earlier this month it would again require masking up in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Reilly said LAUSD is closely monitoring evolving health conditions and adapting its response in preparation for the district’s full return to in-person learning on August 16.
“Ultimately, the greatest protection against COVID and the delta variant is vaccination,” Reilly said. “We encourage everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.