LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - More than 3,600 students and staff at Los Angeles Unified School District tested positive for COVID-19 during the baseline testing prior to classes starting, and an already small number of schools are reporting positive cases on campus.
"My daughter started at a brand new school, in the fourth grade and she came home beaming," said Caden Chernoff, whose daughter was back on campus after 17 months at home due to pandemic-related school closures.
Just a few hours after her daughter arrived home from school, however, Chernoff got an email from the school informing her that a positive case was discovered in a classroom an hour after classes started.
"I thought it might take a few days at least before having a positive COVID test," she said.
Chernoff works full-time as an education consultant and thinks this now be the school systems new normal.
"And it's really disconcerting, and it makes me wonder if we are doing the right thing by sending our kids to campus," she said.
LAUSD has not released how many COVID cases its seen since school started this week. It did release its baseline numbers, when all students and staff were required to test before returning to campus. The district reported 3,255 students and 399 staff tested positive. There was an average positivity rate of .8% and 81% of students and staff took a baseline test.
"Initially those numbers seem scary, but when look at how many kids are being tested, the positivity rate is well below the community average," said Jenna Schwartz, a parent of an LAUSD student who runs a Facebook page for parents and LAUSD staff.
Schwartz added that she's concerned about what will happen if a child has to quarantine.
"I'm getting what I call a lot of non-answers. They'll follow the curriculum and meet their needs, but that's not an answer. Who is teaching my child geometry when my child is home for 10 days," she said.
Oliver Latsch's three sons had to quarantine last week after the oldest was exposed to COVID at a summer bridge program, but he still felt his kids needed to be back on campus.
"We are just kind of waiting for the hammer to fall at some point. So, it's a very considered and informed risk," Latsch said.
Asked about the COVID case at Chernoff's daughter's school, LAUSD said that upon investigating, they now believe that it was not a positive case after all.
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