Los Angeles County schools lost over 90,000 in-person school days due to quarantine measures: CDC

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that a total of 92,455 in-person school days in Los Angeles County were lost during a period of just over a month in the fall due to quarantine measures.

In an evaluation of different coronavirus quarantine measures by the CDC released on Friday, the government agency revealed that some schools in Los Angeles County were able to avoid sending massive numbers of students home due to virus exposure by using a strategy called “Test to Stay.”

According to the evaluation, the “Test to Stay” strategy allows unvaccinated students who are exposed to someone infected by the coronavirus to stay in school, as long as they properly wear a mask and undergo two coronavirus tests per week. The exposed student also must remain asymptomatic.

The evaluation was posted to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Dec. 17.

A student waits to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in Los Angeles, California.

During Sept. 20 through Oct. 31, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health implemented a “Test to Stay” strategy. Within the 78 school districts within the county, half of them permitted schools to use the strategy, and 21% used it. In total, 432 out of the 2,067 schools within the county used the “Test to Stay” strategy.

The evaluation states that after the “Test to Stay” strategy was implemented, “no tertiary transmission was identified.”

Schools that did not use the “Test to Stay” strategy, according to the study, lost a total of 92,455 in-person school days during the Sept. 20 through Oct. 31 period when students were in quarantine.

In-person instruction began for returning students at Hollywood High School on April 27 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

No school days were lost within quarantined students who were in schools that used the “Test to Stay” strategy, according to the evaluation.

The report states that while students above 5 years old are encouraged to get the coronavirus vaccination, the “Test to Stay” strategy can be used as a way to keep unvaccinated students at school, rather than having them quarantine at home.

“TTS does not appear to increase transmission risk in public schools and might greatly reduce loss of in-person school days. Implementation requires resources that might be currently unavailable for some schools,” the report added.

FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, a Los Angeles Unified School District student attends an online class at the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood in Los Angeles. 
((AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File))

In a press release, the CDC said that the “Test to Stay” strategy is a “valuable tool in a layered prevention strategy.”

“Test-to-Stay is another valuable tool in a layered prevention strategy that includes promoting vaccination of eligible students and staff, requiring everyone age 2 and older wear a mask inside schools and facilities, keeping at least 3 feet of distance between students, screening testing, ventilation, handwashing, and staying home when sick,” the press release read.

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