Los Angeles County schools see COVID spike after spring break

Los Angeles County saw a spike in COVID-19 cases in schools after spring break and holidays, officials said Wednesday.

“As people return from spring break and celebrate spring break, the highly infectious BA.2 subvariant is contributing to the increase in cases and outbreaks throughout the county,” said Los Angeles County Health Director , Barbara Ferrer, in a statement.

It’s also causing more students and staff to test positive than before the holidays, according to officials.

Between 529,000 coronavirus tests administered last week, 1,842 tested positive for the virus. That’s an increase in 844 positive tests that surfaced the week ending April 8, officials said.

There was also an increase in the number of school-related shoots after spring break.

Last week, there were 13 known outbreaks of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County schools, including six in elementary schools, one in a middle school, two in high schools and four in youth sports.

“While test positivity in schools remains very low, an increase in positive cases serves as a reminder that students and staff must continue to use common sense safety measures,” Department of Health officials said. Los Angeles County Public Health.

While masks are no longer required inside schools, health authorities continue to recommend them, especially for younger children who are unvaccinated and as the the highly contagious omicron BA.2 subvariant circulates.

Cases have increased throughout Los Angeles County thanks to BA.2, which now accounts for at least 84% of virus samples sequenced in the county.

The good news is that, so far, the increase in the number of cases has not led to an increase in severe illness in Los Angeles County. The numbers for hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 remain low and are even declining slightly.

Officials attribute the lower number of hospitalizations and deaths, in part, to the protection provided by the BA.2 vaccines.

“With recurring reports of new variants of concern, including sublineages of BA.2, we are relieved that currently approved vaccines protect the vaccinated person and those around them from serious disease,” Ferrer said earlier this week. .

Still, with infections on the rise, people should be careful not to spread the virus to others, officials said.

Ferrer said those who have recently been exposed to an infected person should monitor themselves for any signs of illness and wear a mask when indoors with others for 10 days after their last exposure.

“This is particularly important in workplaces and schools, where people are often in close contact with others for long periods of time,” Ferrer said. “These simple steps reduce unnecessary risk to everyone and can break the chain of transmission. ”

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