In second week of school testing, LBUSD reports 173 positive COVID-19 results

The Long Beach Unified School District’s second week of instruction and COVID-19 testing turned up 173 new cases for a positivity rate of 0.8%.

The district conducted 21,183 tests last week, according to spokesperson Chris Eftychiou.

The number of cases and the positivity rate are lower than the first week of school, which saw 253 students test positive with a positivity rate of 1.2%.

The district’s COVID-19 dashboard includes which schools have reported positive cases. So far the district has reported a total of 421 cases of COVID-19 among students, 23 among staff or faculty, and one case from a vendor or visitor to campus.

Parents of students at schools with a positive test are being notified by the school that there’s a case on campus, and parents of those students who have been in “close contact” (15 minutes during a single day) are being notified that they’ll need to quarantine.

As of yet, there have been no campus closures within the LBUSD. Nearby Mayfair High (in Lakewood and in the Bellflower Unified School District) was listed by the county as an “active outbreak” site with 19 laboratory-confirmed cases on campus.

The LBUSD’s policy is to test unvaccinated students weekly for at least the first three weeks of instruction, then re-evaluate their position going forward, a subject likely to come up at tonight’s meeting of the LBUSD Board of Education.

According to numbers published recently by Los Angeles County Public Health, the LBUSD has 26,059 students aged 12-18 with one or more dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

With 46,641 students in that age range, that’s a 55.9% vaccination rate among eligible students, which is low for LA County public school districts; of the 82 school districts listed, 59 have a higher vaccination rate among eligible students than the LBUSD including the Los Angeles Unified School District (59%) and Compton Unified (56.3%).

The LBUSD positivity rate, however, is significantly lower than the city as a whole—and may be a factor in the city’s overall rate decreasing dramatically over the past week. The city’s positivity rate is now 2.9%, down from 8.5% in early August.

The case rate per 100,000 residents in Long Beach has inched up slightly, however: It was 27.4 as of late last week, up from 25.2 a week ago—which also may be the result of school testing.

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