More than 65,000 Los Angeles public school staff and students have tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the return to class today, according to school district data.
Proof of a negative test result is mandatory to return to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, meaning thousands of students will miss the first days of lessons.
The system was implemented at the beginning of the school year in August in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and requires staff and students to test in the week before they return to campus.
More than 414,000 take-home rapid antigen and PCR tests have been taken in the past week, with 65,630 returning positive results.
The results show a teacher positivity rate of 14.99 percent, rising to 16.6 percent among students – though still lower than the county average of over 22 percent.
Weekly testing will take place through the month of January and masks will be mandatory indoors and outdoors on school property.
Around 4,000 temporary staff were put on standby to fill vacancies, district spokesperson Shannon Haber told CNN.
‘We’re all systems go,’ she said.
With over 640,000 students across grades K-12, it is the nation’s second-largest school district behind New York.