Four weeks into the new semester, the nation’s second-largest school district is seeing improved student attendance and COVID-19 test positivity rates, not surprising given the overall improvement conditions throughout Los Angeles County.
In-person student attendance rose to 87% on Friday, February 4, according to preliminary data, the Los Angeles Unified School District reported. It was around 66% the first week after the winter break, 75% the second week and almost 80% on January 24. Figures do not include students from City of Angels, the district’s online independent study program.
The district’s cumulative school attendance rate, which is a weighted average, is typically around 90%.
COVID-19 test positivity rates are also improving, with a seven-day positivity rate of 3.2% among staff and students as of Thursday, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard. The week before the start of the second semester, January 11, when students and staff underwent baseline testing, the percentage of positive tests was 16.5%. This percentage dropped to 9.8% in the first week of school and continued to decline.
“Los Angeles Unified’s attendance is steadily increasing while COVID-19 positivity rates continue to decline, due to enhanced safety measures and continued community partnership,” the district said. tweeted Friday.
Countywide, the rolling average test positivity rate — which has consistently been higher than LAUSD’s — fell to 6.9% on Friday from 7.9% the day before.
Although local pandemic conditions appear to be improving overall and the county’s director of public health said last week that this winter’s peak surge was likely past, health officials continue to stress the importance of wearing masks and taking other safety precautions to continue the downward trend in case transmissions.