The Number of Students Testing Positive Increases at K-12 Schools After Spring Break

1,686 New Positive Cases and 10 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

With the highly infectious BA.2 subvariant dominating in LA County and increased gatherings over the Spring Break and holidays, more students and staff tested positive this past week than prior to Spring break.

For the week ending April 22, there were 1,842 positive tests among the 529,000 tests administered, resulting in a test positivity rate of 0.35%. There were 844 positive tests among 450,000 tests administered for the week ending April 8 and test positivity was 0.19%. While test positivity at schools remains very low, an increase in positive cases serves as a reminder that students and staff should continue to use common-sense safety measures

School-associated outbreaks also increased slightly from the week before Spring Break, with 13 outbreaks (six in elementary schools, one in a middle school, two in high schools, and four in youth sports) for the week ending April 23. The week before Spring Break, there were 11 outbreaks (seven in elementary schools, one in a middle school, and three in high schools) for the week ending April 9.

To promote safety at schools, Public Health is working with partners to continue easy access to COVID-19 vaccines at campuses with 744 school-based vaccination clinics scheduled for May. These sites offer pediatric doses for ages 5-11, as well as vaccines and boosters for eligible individuals 12 years of age and older. As a reminder, vaccines continue to provide the best protection against illness and hospitalizations and are the safest way to keep children in school and participating in other activities.

With high rates of virus transmission in the County and more individuals testing positive at schools, Public Health recommends a series of sensible steps that will provide layers of protection against COVID-19 and keep students in schools. It is important that asymptomatic students exposed to COVID-19 and remaining in school, follow updated testing and masking requirements.

The updated exposure guidance for K-12 schools is aligned with the quarantine safety protocols for the general public and requires that asymptomatic students who are close contacts remain masked indoors when around others, except while eating or drinking, for 10 days after last exposure. Asymptomatic exposed students are also required to test within three to five days after last exposure. These measures can help contain the spread of infection and curtail outbreaks.

“I send my deepest sympathies and wishes of peace and comfort to the many families who have lost a loved one from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As individuals return from Spring Break and celebrating Spring holidays, the highly infectious BA.2 subvariant is contributing to case and outbreak increases across the County. Those who have had a recent exposure to an infected individual should monitor themselves carefully for any signs of illness. If they are asymptomatic, they are not required to quarantine provided they wear a mask when indoors around others for 10 days after their last exposure and they get tested as soon as possible. This is particularly important at work and school sites, where individuals are often in close contact with others for extended periods of time. These simple steps reduce unnecessary risk for everyone and can break the chain of transmission. ”

Today, Public Health reported 10 additional deaths and 1,686 new positive cases of COVID-19. Of the 10 new deaths reported today, four were between the ages of 65-79, and five people were aged 80 years or older. Information on the one death reported by the city of Long Beach at: Longbeach.gov. Of the 10 newly reported deaths, eight had underlying health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 31,951.

Public Health has reported a total of 2,867,415 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 1.70%.

There are 235 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 11,835,043 individuals, with 22% of people testing positive.

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov including:

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