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Virus stops in-person learning in Los Angeles schools

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Jul 14, 2020 - 01:45 AM

LMBC NEWS – With the shutting down of indoor activities in California, the education sector in Los Angeles said it will not reopen in-person learning this fall.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, through its superintendent Austin Beutner, said in a statement Monday that the students will not report on a physical campus for the academic year 2020-2021.

“While the new school year will begin in August, it will not start with students at school facilities. The health and safety of all in the school community is not something we can compromise,” Beutner said.

The health department last July 11 has reported an additional of 8, 460 new infections in the state, which pushed the total confirmed cases to 320, 804.

“The news about the spread of the virus continues to be of great concern. Last week was the worst yet in the Los Angeles area. The rate of those who tested positive for the virus is approaching 10%, well above the level of 5% the World Health Organization guidelines say is appropriate for communities to reopen,” he continued.

Health practices like washing of hands, sanitizing, wearing masks and arranging safe distance among learners is part of the strategies to avoid virus spread.

But Beutner said “this will not be enough.”

He said the interaction between the students and other school staff will increase the risk of the children in getting the infection.

“Reopening schools will significantly increase the interaction between children and adults from different families,” he said.

Beutner said the regular testing of students and staff can help curb the spread of the disease.

“The answer? Test students and staff for the virus at schools on a regular basis. Some claim children are less likely to carry the virus or they may suffer less severe medical consequences if they get the disease,” he said.

The Federal government could help by providing the needs of the schools to make the return of the students safe.

Covid-19 testing in schools, for instance, can cause the government “maybe $15 billion”, he said.

The provision of the government cannot be measured by dollars and cents, he noted, as it is about creating opportunity for children.

“A good education is the path out of poverty for many of the students we serve and the promise of a better future for all of them. Children need to be in school to get the best possible education. The right way to reopen schools is to make sure there is a robust system of testing and contact tracing to mitigate the risk for all in the school community,” he said.

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