Dear LCUSD Community,
Thank you for your resilience and your patience as we do our best to navigate through this challenging time presented by the Covid Omicron surge. Please know that if you have sent an email expressing concerns or frustrations, the emails are read and they are considered. We use all of our community’s feedback along with the guidance and orders from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to inform our decision-making. Your LCUSD Administrative Team is dedicated to keeping schools open and operating as smoothly as possible. We are doing everything in our power to keep students and staff healthy and safe, but admittedly - we are all behind in our responses to individual emails.
Please take the time to read this email as it provides Covid-19 Testing directions and information for our students and staff for next week. The content of this email includes information related to:
- Required At-Home Rapid Antigen Testing and Attestations for all Students and Staff - Due Sunday January 9, 2022;
- Return to School/Work Testing Clinics for Verified Results, Required for Students and Staff Currently Isolating or Quarantining from a Positive Case - Sunday, January 9 at LCUSD Schools;
- Community Concerns Regarding Antigen Test False Negatives and Self-Attestation Reliability;
- Upcoming Pediatric and Booster Vaccine Clinics.
Required At-Home Rapid Antigen Testing and Attestations - Due Sunday January 9th
LCUSD is requiring all students and staff to take an at-home rapid antigen test on Sunday and attest to a negative result in order to attend school on Monday next week. To facilitate this requirement, we will be distributing the at-home Covid rapid tests on Sunday from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. from the District Office (4490 Cornishon Ave., LCF). The distribution will be a drive through and all cars must enter northbound from Descanso Dr. (there will be no left-hand turns into the parking lot from a southbound on Cornishon Ave. approach). To expedite the distribution, please fill out the pdf contained in this email, which includes: Family Name, Child(s) Name(s), School, and Grade Level. If you do not have printer capabilities, please write this information on a piece of paper. Staff will collect the paper(s) from the cars and hand you the appropriate number of rapid antigen tests. If you fail to bring a completed form, we will have blanks and direct you to park and complete the form to receive your test kits.
We will accept the results in the parental or staff attestation of a laboratory PCR Molecular test or from rapid antigen tests purchased by families.
The parental and staff attestation form link will be sent to families and staff on Sunday in an email from your site principal. You must complete the attestation NO LATER THAN 9:00 p.m. for your child to be included on the roster for Monday morning.
For Students and Staff Currently Isolating or Quarantining from a Positive Case - Required Testing Clinics for Verified Results - Sunday, January 9, at LCUSD Schools
If a student or staff member is currently isolating or quarantining due to a positive case and Sunday will be Day 5 or later from their Covid-19 infection or exposure, they need to have a verified negative test in order to return to school or work on Monday, January 10. LCUSD will be offering Testing Clinics at each of the School Sites on Sunday. The clinics at LCE, PCR, and PCY will be open from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and at LCHS from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. More information on these testing verification clinics for return to work and school will be sent to you in an email today from Dr. Debra Cradduck.
Community Concerns Regarding Antigen Test False Negatives and Self-Attestation Reliability
Finally, I want to briefly address some community concerns regarding rapid test false negatives and self-attestation reliability.
LCUSD is aware of the reports that rapid antigen home-test kits may not be as efficacious in detecting the Omicron variant as the PCR molecular tests. We are also aware that the PCR Molecular tests are more likely to give false positive results, especially to anyone who has had Covid-19 in the last 90 days and is fully recovered. We will continue to utilize ALL of the tools we have at our disposal to reduce transmission and combat the current Omicron surge. There are benefits to each test. The PCR molecular test remains available to all families and staff and will continue to be available daily at each of our school sites.
The current decision to rely on parental and staff attestations for attendance at school and work has been made with a full understanding of LCUSD’s dependance on people operating in good faith and with civic responsibility. We all know what is at stake if people choose to not report truthfully, namely increased Covid-19 transmission, student and staff illness, and the risk of a workforce shortage that necessitates school closures if we cannot keep our staff healthy and minimize their risks of exposures at the school sites and in their classrooms. LCUSD is also closely monitoring our test positivity rates and transmission rates. If those escalate, then imposing random samples of mandatory PCR surveillance testing at each school site to monitor self-attestation accuracy would be the next tool in the testing toolkit for consideration.
In terms of other tools to combat the surge, LCUSD will be offering Covid-19 Pediatric and Booster Vaccine clinics on Saturday, January 15, and Saturday, February 5, 2022. A flyer on the vaccine clinics is included in this email.
In closing, I am completely empathetic to the Covid-19 fatigue, frustration, and fears that many in our LCUSD Community are experiencing. We will get through this. LCUSD will continue to adapt and iterate its health protocols to follow all of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health orders as well as to reflect the absolute best practices we can offer to the amazing school district community that we are so fortunate to serve.
Sincerely and with gratitude,
(The content of this message is from Superintendent Sinnette's update titled "Superintendent's Update 1/7/22 - Please Read - Important Information Regarding Required Testing for Attendance Next Week" that was sent to LCUSD staff and parents)