Omicron surge anxiety, absences and confusion mark first day new LAUSD semester

Hundreds of Los Angeles Unified school district employees rushed to campuses to help cover for absent teachers and staff. Students waited in long lines to get on campus after the health screening system sputtered during morning rush. And in many classrooms, empty desks reflected both a massive increase in positive coronavirus cases among students and pandemic-worried families who kept students home.

Yet amid a record 62,000 positive coronavirus cases among students and staff, the nation’s second-largest school district opened its campuses and welcomed hundreds of thousands back, with a number of families and students saying they felt reassured by safety precautions the district was taking — including mandatory weekly testing and masking.

“It’s a little concerning, but I think we’ve done all we can in terms of getting them ready, getting them tested and making sure that they’re ready to come back to school,” said Pablo Pacheco as he dropped his 6-year-old off at Yorkdale Elementary in Highland Park. “All we can do is do our best.” Click here to read more: