LAUSD to Fully Open for 2021-22 School Year
By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
County of Los Angeles Public Health reported on Friday, May 21, that the county will align with the state’s plans to ease many capacity limits and distancing requirements beginning June 15.
At that time, the county will also adopt Centers for Disease Control and Prevention masking guidelines for individuals that are vaccinated and unvaccinated.
“People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks in most situations,” according to Public Health officials. “There are specific requirements for large capacity indoor events. The county will also follow the state on lifting current travel restrictions on June 15 to align with CDC travel recommendations.”
The county reopening protocols that are currently in place are slated to be amended or retired on June 15 to reflect these changes.
“I, like everyone in California, look forward to the changes that will come on June 15,” Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer shared in a statement. “Together, we all worked hard and continue to work hard to keep numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths low in LA County. I can’t emphasize enough how the vaccine has allowed us to get to a place where we can safely do the things that we loved to do before the pandemic. If you have been putting off getting vaccinated, I ask that you not delay any longer and get vaccinated.”
Prior to the amending of protocols, Public Health said businesses must continue to adhere to workplace guidelines that include occupancy limits, social distancing, masking, infection control, and offer personal protective equipment that protects employees, customers and residents from contracting COVID-19.
“These actions will help make sure the county continues to see the low transmission rates that keep us moving forward on the recovery journey,” according to Public Health.
On Wednesday, May 12, the CDC adopted the recommendation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expand the authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, which represents nearly 500,000 individuals in LA County, according to Public Health.
On Monday, May 24, Public Health reported that 50% of LA County residents ages 16 and over are fully vaccinated.
“As of May 21, more than 9,501,064 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County,” according Public Health. “Of these, 5,520,397 were first doses and 3,980,667 were second doses. As of May 21, 50% of LA County residents 16 and over and 72% of seniors 65 and older are fully vaccinated. The county is also seeing 28% of teens 16 to 17 years old and 46% of people 16 to 64 years old fully vaccinated.”
COVID-19 vaccinations are available at county-run sites, as well as community sites, without an appointment.
“This week, there are 756 sites offering vaccinations, including pharmacies, clinics, community sites and hospitals,” Public Health shared Monday afternoon. “Many of these vaccination sites are concentrated in areas that have been hard hit by the pandemic.”
To date, Public Health reported that 74% of Pacific Palisades and 72% of Palisades Highlands residents have gotten at least one shot.
During a community update on Monday, May 24, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner reported plans to fully reopen schools for the 2021-22 academic year.
“Looking down the path to recovery and the new school year, which starts this fall, all students will have the opportunity to participate in full-day, on-campus, in-person instruction,” he shared. “That means elementary school students will be on campus five days a week for a full day of in-person instruction with their teacher and classmates. Middle school and high school students will be on campus five days a week for a full schedule of instruction, changing classrooms for each period.”
Beutner explained that an online option will remain in place for the next school year for students who are unable or choose not to participate at schools for in-person instruction.
“Some students and some staff members may need to stay at home until all at schools are vaccinated due to health reasons because they live with an immune-compromised family member,” he said. “Students at all grade levels will have the option to participate in online classes staffed with Los Angeles Unified teachers.”
As the Post went to print Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had reached 1,239,093 across the county when factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena, with 24,184 deaths. The county’s daily test positivity rate was .4%.
Pacific Palisades had reached 853 confirmed cases and 14 deaths Tuesday, with an additional 148 in Palisades Highlands and one death.
Sarah Shmerling contributed to this report.
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