COVID Cases and Outbreaks Increasing at K-12 Schools; Public Health Working with Education Partners to Support Safety Measures

                  2,484 New Positive Cases and 5 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

As Los Angeles County experiences a high rate of COVID transmission and steady rise in cases, K-12 schools continue to see increases in cases among staff and students, and the number of school outbreaks.

The number of cases among students and staff more than quadrupled between March 27 and April 24, likely reflecting the elimination of the indoor masking requirement in mid-March, students and staff recently returning to campus after gathering and traveling for the Spring holidays, and end-of-year events now underway. For the week ending April 24, there were 3,164 positive cases, with 2,544 among students and 620 among staff. For the week prior, ending April 17, there were 1,879 positive cases at K-12 schools, with 1,478 among students and 401 among staff.

School-associated outbreaks increased slightly for the week ending April 30 with 18 outbreaks (10 in elementary schools, four in middle schools, three in high schools, and one in youth sports). One week prior, for the week ending April 23, there were 13 outbreaks (six in elementary schools, one in a middle school, two in high schools, and four in youth sports). Many of the outbreaks outside of classrooms, some of which have involved dozens of students, have been linked to activities such as indoor school events, proms, musical and theater performances, and field trips.

With increases in the number of outbreaks, and student and staff cases, Public Health’s specialized School Support Team is offering school partners information, resources, help with outbreak management, and technical assistance to support strategies that enhance safety at schools and at school-sponsored events.

Public Health continues to strongly recommend that all students and staff wear well-fitting masks or respirators when indoors and requires masking indoors for any asymptomatic staff and students who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. This simple step can make a substantial difference, since wearing a face mask or respirator in indoor public settings has been associated with significantly lower odds of testing positive for COVID-19 and masking requirements in schools have been associated with lower risks of outbreaks.

With funding from the CDC, Public Health has partnered with the LA County Office of Education and Heluna Health to support COVID-19 testing in public, charter, and private schools across the County. Public Health is supporting school-based COVID-19 testing programs as well as providing testing support on site; this includes the distribution of more than 8.1 million over-the-counter COVID-19 tests, provided by Public Health, the State, and CDC, to students and staff in schools across the County.

Schools are encouraged to use these testing resources to incorporate response COVID-19 testing into their regular operations. Response testing includes ensuring access to testing for students and staff who have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 and who have COVID-19 symptoms. If resources are available, schools can also offer weekly testing for those who are not fully vaccinated, since these individuals are at elevated risk of becoming severely ill should they become infected and would benefit from an early diagnosis.

Parents and students are expected to follow the isolation and quarantine Health Officer Orders. Students who are required to isolate shouldn’t return to school until they’ve been released from isolation. If they meet the criteria to leave isolation early, they should wear a highly protective mask around others, except when eating or drinking, for 10 days after their symptoms started or the date of their first positive test if they’re asymptomatic.Exposed asymptomatic students can remain in school, provided they wear a mask indoors when they are around others, for 10 days after their last exposure, and are tested three to five days after exposure, to make sure they aren’t infected.Parents are urged to take advantage of the nearly 700 school-based vaccination clinics that are available during the month of May. These campus vaccine sites offer pediatric doses for ages 5-11, as well as vaccines and boosters for eligible individuals 12 years of age and older. As a reminder, vaccines continue to prevent severe illness and hospitalizations, and are the safest way to keep children in school and participating in other activities.

“I send my deepest sympathies and wishes of peace and comfort to the many families who have lost a loved one from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “I know many people are tired of the pandemic, they are tired of wearing masks, and exhausted trying to deal with the uncertainty and ever-changing guidance. It is very tempting to minimize the impact of the virus to support our desire to return to our pre-pandemic lives. Unfortunately, this would be a mistake that could make it harder for us to embrace strategies that extend protections while minimizing disruptions. There continue to be sensible steps we can take to reduce risk and prevent serious illness and deaths among those most vulnerable.”

Today, Public Health reported 5 additional deaths and 2,484 new positive cases today. Of the 5 new deaths reported today, two were between the ages of 65-79 and three were aged 80 years or older. Of the 5 newly reported deaths, 4 had underlying health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 31,982.

Public Health has reported a total of 2,882,279 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 2.2 %.

There are 248 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 11,871,058 individuals, with 22% of people testing positive.

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov including:

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

For more information:

 

Total Cases

 

Laboratory Confirmed Cases

2,882,279

 

— Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas)*

2,726,983

 

— Long Beach

126,435

 

— Pasadena

28,861

 

Deaths

31,982

 

— Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas)

30,303

 

— Long Beach

1,265

 

— Pasadena

414

 

Age Group (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

   

– 0 to 4

83818

 

– 5 to 11

242309

 

– 12 to 17

236515

 

– 18 to 29

607969

 

– 30 to 49

870297

 

– 50 to 64

451168

 

– 65 to 79

175759

 

– over 80

57105

 

– Under Investigation

2043

 

Gender (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

   

– Female

1387696

 

– Male

1262844

 

– Other

1189

 

– Under Investigation

75254

 

Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

   

– American Indian/Alaska Native

5014

 

– Asian

170489

 

– Black

137026

 

– Hispanic/Latino

1238003

 

– Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

13802

 

– White

355140

 

– Other

302179

 

– Under Investigation

505330

 

Hospitalization (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

   

– Hospitalized (Ever)

137,578

 

Deaths Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

   

– American Indian/Alaska Native

73

 

– Asian

3783

 

– Black

2807

 

– Hispanic/Latino

15580

 

– Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

112

 

– White

7550

 

– Other

308

 

– Under Investigation

90

 

CITY / COMMUNITY**

Cases

Case Rate

City of Agoura Hills

4302

20600

City of Alhambra

17307

19956

City of Arcadia

8308

14385

City of Artesia

4220

25127

City of Avalon

63

1628

City of Azusa

13815

27608

City of Baldwin Park

23013

29977

City of Bell

13937

38360

City of Bell Gardens

14211

32994

City of Bellflower

23472

30195

City of Beverly Hills

8599

24910

City of Bradbury

66

6174

City of Burbank

22828

21299

City of Calabasas

4110

16898

City of Carson

25850

27545

City of Cerritos

8624

17225

City of Claremont

7188

19702

City of Commerce*

4532

34677

City of Compton

33237

33269

City of Covina

14800

30184

City of Cudahy

10073

41373

City of Culver City

7686

19280

City of Diamond Bar

9327

16217

City of Downey

36241

31717

City of Duarte

5225

23733

City of El Monte

33250

28354

City of El Segundo

2884

17181

City of Gardena

16410

26766

City of Glendale

45058

21821

City of Glendora

11925

22601

City of Hawaiian Gardens

4198

28605

City of Hawthorne

22801

25681

City of Hermosa Beach

3410

17336

City of Hidden Hills

272

14392

City of Huntington Park

22148

37234

City of Industry

405

92677

City of Inglewood

29627

26084

City of Irwindale

538

36875

City of La Canada Flintridge

2991

14454

City of La Habra Heights

162

2970

City of La Mirada

10576

21323

City of La Puente

12773

31386

City of La Verne

7136

21441

City of Lakewood

19226

23924

City of Lancaster*

51179

31676

City of Lawndale

8192

24371

City of Lomita

4372

21091

City of Lynwood*

24896

34555

City of Malibu

2183

16843

City of Manhattan Beach

5164

14345

City of Maywood

10607

37816

City of Monrovia

8392

21629

City of Montebello

19356

30068

City of Monterey Park

11772

18907

City of Norwalk

33389

31024

City of Palmdale

53270

33510

City of Palos Verdes Estates

1567

11589

City of Paramount

19011

33934

City of Pico Rivera

21086

32801

City of Pomona

52300

33540

City of Rancho Palos Verdes

5046

11804

City of Redondo Beach

10351

15068

City of Rolling Hills

194

10000

City of Rolling Hills Estates

1024

12622

City of Rosemead

10952

19787

City of San Dimas*

8154

23624

City of San Fernando

10507

42691

City of San Gabriel

7727

18868

City of San Marino

1490

 

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