LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Numerous school districts around the country have delayed the return of in-class learning due to the surge in coronavirus cases. On Monday, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced it will be requiring all students and staff to be tested before returning to school after winter break.
Clark County School District students will return to classes Wednesday. The district does recognize the increase in cases in Southern Nevada and plans to continue its strict cleaning protocols. The test positivity rate in Clark County has jumped to 14.1%.
Since the beginning of the school year in August, there have been more than 7,000 positive COVID-19 cases reported in CCSD.
The district shared the protocols it’s using to keep students and staff safe aside from requiring staff and students to wear facial masks.
In addition to daily cleaning and disinfecting, CCSD says it is taking additional measures whenever a COVID-19 case is identified and the areas that person was in will receive additional disinfection.
The district uses the R-Zero Arc UV-C light disinfection system. Every campus in the district has one of these devices. CCSD says it can destroy 99% of the surface and airborne pathogens in a classroom in less than seven minutes without the use of harsh chemicals. Not only is this system used when cases are identified, but it is also supposed to be used on a rotating schedule in classrooms.
If large areas, such as a gymnasium, are needing disinfection, the district will dispatch a team to perform electrostatic disinfection.
It’s also flu and cold season and the symptoms can be similar to COVID-19.
“The best thing for parents to do with their kids is to take them to their physician or emergency department where they will have the capability to do specific testing. There are some really great tests out there now to differentiate each of these from one another,” said Dr. David John, UNLV.
Dr. John said flu symptoms start suddenly, but cold symptoms progress slowly and COVID-19 symptoms take even longer to feel sick after exposure.
We asked if CCSD might consider doing what’s happening in Los Angeles.
John Vellardita of the Clark County Education Association said testing capacity would have to grow.
“Is there the capacity to do those kind of measures? In other words, before they come back?” Vellardita said.
“I think there is a delay in rollout of additional testing capacity that people are experiencing,” he said.
“I think the tools are there, with the exception of not having enough testing right now, but that is around the corner,” Vellardita said. “I think the tools are there … it’s just about the execution.”