California sends millions of COVID-19 tests to schools for spring break return

In an effort to prepare school districts across the state to test students for COVID-19 when they return from spring break, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office has begun sending COVID-19 test kits to schools.

The state has already shipped 14.3 million home COVID-19 tests for students and staff, the governor’s office announced Saturday. The state said 11 million tests have already been delivered, while an additional 2.6 million tests have been shipped. Statewide, there are approximately 7.2 million students and staff.

“California is focused on keeping schools open and students safe, and we are not letting our guard down,” Newsom said in a statement.

In December, as the country faced another surge in coronavirus cases of the highly contagious variant of Omicron, state officials announced they would send 6 million tests to school districts so students could get tested before returning to class. But only half of the promised tests arrived on time, leading to frustration. The governor’s office blamed weather and supply chain shortages for the delay.

The state is not currently experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, and conditions have since improved, with the state no longer requiring masks on campus. In early March, Los Angeles County dropped its indoor mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status, after data showed the coronavirus community level was low.

Spring break is approaching across the state. For Los Angeles Unified students, it runs from April 11 through April 15.

Already, some school officials have signaled they plan to test students when they return from spring break. LAUSD, the nation’s second-largest district, said it would conduct baseline testing before students and staff return.

Los Angeles Times

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