As planned heading into the new school year, the South Pasadena Unified School District began offering surveillance COVID-19 testing to employees and students on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, athletes are required to be tested weekly while they are in their sports season. Optional weekly testing for employees and students will be conducted at a drive-thru site at South Pasadena High School, while PCR testing kits will be available at each school’s health office in the event of a potential exposure at the school.
Those signing up for the voluntary testing are asked to do so on the district website, spusd.net, no later than the Friday prior to the testing date. All employees and students continue to be required to wear face masks at school while indoors, per state regulations, although those with certain medical conditions can be exempted from this.
Outside of school functions, the district recently reported that members of the SPHS pep squad were diagnosed with COVID-19 in July after they and other members of the team attended an overnight camp outside of Los Angeles County that month. This gave the district nurse and members of the health team a chance to test out its protocols with regard to contact tracing, offering medical guidance and following up with the diagnosed students.
“Fortunately,” the district wrote in a statement, “no one affected experienced severe symptoms or required hospitalization.”
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health conducted an assessment of district facilities and contacts following this outbreak and determined the exposure did not occur on campuses, the district added.
“The safety of our students is our top priority and we seek to offer the safest learning environment for our students,” the district said.
Unvaccinated people found to have been in close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 are required to quarantine up to 10 days. If the person is asymptomatic and receives a negative result from a test administered on the fifth day of quarantine, the isolation may be reduced to seven days. Although vaccinated people are not required to quarantine or test, the district strongly recommends testing and monitoring symptoms for 14 days.
Students who report COVID-19 symptoms during the course of the school day will be placed in a designated isolation room, with employees using personal protective equipment, until a parent or guardian retrieves them.
Vaccines remain available for those 12 and older.
Monterey Hills Elementary School Principal Laurie Narro and the Roadrunner mascot (center photo) welcomed students back to school last week.