Dear TUSD Families:
This message is intended to provide you information regarding changes instituted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) on December 31, 2021 and January 4, 2022. These changes most significantly involve masking, testing and quarantine/isolation.
New requirements for staff include:
- Within two weeks of school re-opening, require masks outdoors in crowded spaces where physical distancing is not feasible except when actively eating or drinking.
- Within two weeks of school re-opening, provide and require all staff to wear upgraded (surgical/respirator) masks.
- It is recommended that all students wear a well-fitting, non-cloth mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.
Our staff and students have been doing well with proper masking compliance. Going forward, we will institute the following changes:
- Universal masking is currently required for both indoor and outdoor settings on the school campus when physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes entering campuses in the morning, during passing periods, at recess and lunch, and when leaving school at the end of the day. This is in addition to everyone wearing masks indoors at all times.
- It is recommended that all students wear a well-fitting, non-cloth mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire. The District has available blue surgical masks in child and older student sizes, and use of these is encouraged. However, a student may wear a mask of their choosing (other than mesh/net "masks") as long as they wear it properly, covering both nose and mouth at all times, as described in point #1 above.
The District will be distributing State-provided at-home test kits this Friday to all students. Please advise your student(s) to accept the kit given them by their teacher and to bring it home. If your student is not in attendance this Friday, they may contact the school office next week to pick up their test kit. Instructions for use are provided in the kit, and, additionally:
- Please use the first test in the kit (there are two tests) to test your student(s) this Saturday, January 8th. If your student tests negative, keep the second test in case your student exhibits any symptoms in the future.
- If your student(s) test positive this Saturday, retest them on Sunday, January 9th. If they test positive again, do not send your student to school on Monday, January 10th, and follow the Quarantine/Isolation instructions below.
- If your student(s) has one positive test and one negative test, also follow the Quarantine/Isolation instructions below and bring them for a PCR test at a District testing location on Monday, January 10th (see https://www.tusd.org/parents/covid-19-testing-centers). The positive result from the PCR test would indicate that Quarantine/Isolation is still required per the instructions below. A negative PCR test result means your student, if asymptomatic, may return to school.
- Please report at-home test results, whether positive or negative, on the form located at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdVZZtRauLUGboLzUrD9x5DByNpTVWjJV9ERctN9XBh-wCIRw/viewform?usp=sf_link
- At this time, at-home tests are only acceptable for screening, not for returning to school. Testing of students with previous positive test results must be supervised by a healthcare professional in a healthcare setting.
Ongoing testing requirements include:
- Within two weeks of school reopening, require testing for asymptomatic close contacts of infected individuals remaining in school. Ideally, students are tested immediately after exposure and then again on day 5; at minimum, students would be tested on day 5. This would apply to all close contacts allowed to remain in school, including fully vaccinated (and boosted where eligible) close contacts who are not required to quarantine and students who had mask-to-mask contact with the infected individual and are eligible for modified (in-school) quarantine.
The District currently has PCR testing in place at four District locations, each day (see https://www.tusd.org/parents/covid-19-testing-centers). This testing is for students and staff only at this time, due to the large increase in volume of testing we have seen this week. District staff is working with our testing partner, Fulgent, on ways to minimize wait time for tests, but the appearance of the COVID Omicron variant and new testing requirements for all athletes, regardless of vaccination status, has vastly increased the number of people testing county-wide, not just at TUSD.
You may find a testing center anywhere you wish to provide proof of a negative COVID test for athletics or to return to school, and the District is working to add a rapid antigen test site that will be used exclusively for a “test to stay” program as described in the bullet point immediately above. Details will be provided to staff and students needing the “test-to-stay” as soon as that option is up and running.
TUSD is working on getting an antigen testing solution in place as soon as possible, but that will likely be sometime next week. In the meantime, you may test elsewhere if you are able to find an antigen test center, and provide TUSD with those results.
For students who are positive for COVID, the following updated guidelines now apply. Note: Day 0 is the day your symptoms began, Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms appear.
Individuals who are asymptomatic (have no symptoms) may end isolation after five (5) days under the following conditions:
- At least five (5) days have passed since your positive Covid-19 viral test was taken, AND
- Have remained symptom free, AND
- Have a negative Covid-19 viral test collected five (5) days or more later.
Individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 and have symptoms may end isolation after day five (5) under the following conditions:
- At least five (5) days have passed since your 1st symptoms appeared, AND
- Your symptoms have improved, no fever for 24 hours or more without any fever-reducing medication, AND
- You have a negative Covid-19 viral test collected five (5) days or more later.
NOTE: Whether you are asymptomatic or symptomatic, it is better to use a rapid antigen test (LAB CONFIRMED) because NAAT/PCR tests can stay positive even after you are no longer infectious
Student Vaccination Record:
In an effort to help expedite contact tracing efforts, we have been collecting student COVID-19 vaccination documentation. Although this is voluntary, your responses on the form below will provide us necessary data to respond swiftly to any Covid-19 incidents and efficiently implement the exposure management plan. As with all vaccination records, this information will be confidential in nature and will only be available to the required personnel. Here is the form with instructions on how to upload proof of vaccination:
We truly appreciate your understanding that these new requirements were delivered at the end of the Winter Break with no forewarning, and thus we are working as quickly as possible to comply and, to the extent possible, minimize inconvenience to our school community. If you have additional questions, please let your school office know.
Thank you for your help in following these new requirements.