The Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) Board of Education unanimously agreed to take a more lenient stance on COVID-19 testing, despite an uptick reported at its April 5 meeting. Per Board direction, the district’s weekly PCR COVID-19 testing program, which tests all unvaccinated students and a random selection of vaccinated students, will conclude the week after Spring Break on April 22.
BHUSD Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy presented the Board with the option of testing vaccinated and unvaccinated students on an equal basis the week of April 15 or keeping the current program as is. “As you know, I’ve been providing you with information and updates,” Bregy said. “There’s just been a slight uptick in cases since the optional masking has gone in to play.”
After the district adopted a “your mask, your choice” stance on March 14 regarding indoor masking for students and staff, data presented by Bregy shows an increase in positive cases reported. The total number of positive cases across all schools sited reported for the weeks of March 6 and March 13 was four. The week of March 20, that number rose to seven, and the week of March 27 there were nine cases. As of press time, there were 15 active positive cases among students and four among staff. Of the active student cases, 12 are reported from Horace Mann Elementary School. For comparison, during the omicron surge earlier this year, the district reported a total of 76 new positive cases the week of January 17.
This week, students and staff received two at home COVID-19 test kits courtesy of the district, but testing is not compulsory to return to school from the upcoming Spring Break. However, the district is still asking all students and staff to test no more than 24 hours before returning to school. While the weekly PCR testing program will no longer be in place, optional daily rapid antigen testing will remain available district wide.
In the past, the Board has indicated that its COVID-19 policies around masking and testing at the district will remain fluid, and subject to change depending on current health conditions.