L.A. schools drop aggressive COVID-19 rules: No more testing for all and masks stay optional

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Los Angeles school leaders on Tuesday officially stepped back from COVID-19 safety protocols that were among the most far-reaching in the country, choosing instead to mirror current county requirements and operate in line with most other school districts.

What that means for students and parents is an end to weekly universal testing for coronavirus infections, no baseline testing before the Aug. 15 start of school, voluntary masking and a continued deferment of the district’s vaccination mandate for students in the nation’s second-largest school system.

In addition, the district’s Daily Pass system will ramp down from its prior use as a campus entry requirement that had to be inspected every day. Last year, under this system, to enter school grounds students had to be up to date on weekly COVID-19 testing and they or their parents also had to affirm that students had no symptoms of illness. The Daily Pass system will be used instead to upload positive test results or report symptoms on an as-needed and voluntary basis.

Like many other school systems, L.A. Unified has shifted to “response testing” — where testing is required for those who are sick, who are close contacts or when there is a potential for an outbreak.

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