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Pasadena Health Director Recommends Weekly COVID-19 Testing For PUSD Students

Published on Friday, July 30, 2021 | 5:45 am

Pasadena Public Health Director Dr. Ying-Ying Goh is recommending weekly COVID-19 testing for Pasadena Unified students, regardless of vaccination status.

She made the recommendation during the meeting of the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education on Thursday when asked by Board Member Tina Wu Fredericks how frequently students should get tested for COVID-19, in light of the upcoming resumption of in-person classes in August.

Goh said since the city’s category is at the highest level on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) framework, asymptomatic surveillance testing should be done weekly.

“For asymptomatic surveillance testing, it’s dependent on the rate of transmission in our community.”

“Right now, we are at the highest level on the CDC framework. It’s red. It’s called high community transmission. ”

“When we’re in those situations, there is a testing framework made available by the state where weekly PCR testing is recommended when we are on high transmission,” she said.

Meanwhile, she said those with symptoms should immediately get tested regardless of vaccination status.

“We have readily available testing that’s free — at no cost to the individual,” she said.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced it will require students and district employees returning to in-person activities to undergo “baseline and ongoing weekly COVID-testing” regardless of their vaccination status, in accordance with the guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The policy shift was made after Los Angeles County saw an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Pasadena School Board Member Kimberly Kenne said she was seeking more information on the new policy.

“Staff would have to help us understand if it is reasonable to test weekly whatever number of people that would turn out to be. I don’t want to approve something we can’t do,” she said.

Board Member Patrick Cahalan, for his part, said the board should consider implementing the policy.

“If the trends continue the way they are now, I think at least a weekly testing program is going to be something we’re going to have to consider,” Cahalan said.

Echoing Kenne’s remark, he added: “I don’t want to approve something we cannot do but on the other hand if we don’t do it, [we might] have additional problems.”

The board decided to hold a formal discussion on the policy in its next meeting on August 5.

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