LAUSD to end weekly COVID tests and spend $5 million on prizes to encourage vaccinations

With a deadline for student COVID-19 vaccinations days away — and about 72% in compliance — the Los Angeles Board of Education has authorized an estimated $5 million for prizes and treats as incentives, including gift cards to Amazon and Target, tickets to “Hamilton” and food trucks on campus.

Separately, officials also announced that weekly coronavirus testing for all students and adults will conclude when the winter break begins in December, a massive effort that has carried out 500,000 tests a week, at a total cost estimated at $350 million.

The incentive program, already underway, is part of a broad-based effort to boost vaccination rates by Sunday, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s self-imposed deadline for students 12 and older to receive a vaccine dose. The only choice for students 12 to 17 is the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Those 18 and older could choose instead the two-dose Moderna or one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Click here to read more: