January 23, 2022

Culver City Unified cancels classes next week amid COVID surge

View Original Notice ? Culver City Unified cancels classes next week amid COVID surge

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The Culver City Unified School District announced on Friday, Jan. 14, that all classes have been canceled next week due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

In a message to parents, district officials cited the “ongoing rapid spread of the Omicron variant” in opting to cancel three days worth of classes. District classes were previously canceled Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday, and Tuesday was a pre-planned “non-pupil” day.

Classes will now be canceled Wednesday through Friday.

“This cancellation is in effect for all CCUSD programs, including the Office of Child Development, K-12 schools and Culver City Adult School,” according to the district.

Officials said the three canceled days “will be made up at a date to be determined later.”

Across town, one-third of Los Angeles Unified students have been absent from school, on average, over the first three days of second semester.

The nation’s second-largest district, which welcomed students back to campuses on Tuesday, reported on Thursday, Jan. 13, that the average attendance rate for the first week of school was 66.8%, based on preliminary data.

While tens of thousands of students and staff members have been out because they tested positive for the coronavirus, some families may have chosen to keep their children home due to concerns about the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

L.A. Unified had 71,000 active coronavirus cases among students and staff on Wednesday, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard. As of Wednesday, its seven-day test-positivity rate was 12.7%. Countywide, the seven-day test-positivity rate is about 21%.

This week, the winter coronavirus surge, fueled by the highly transmissible omicron variant, raged on unabated, as officials urged residents to take safety precautions and hoped the spike is reaching it peak.

The number of L.A. County people hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment rose to more then 4,000 on Thursday, Jan. 13 —  its highest level since early February 2021. While evidence indicated the new strain, now the dominant coronavirus variant, is less virulent than its predecessors, it spreads more swiftly and experts fear the booming caseload could swamp the county’s hospitals.

The county Department of Public Health posted 45,076 new positive COVID cases, the omicron variant now making up nearly 95% of all sequenced cases in the county.

The winter viral wave continued its deadly turn, with 45 new COVID-related fatalities reported on Thursday.

To date, the county has reported 27,895 COVID-related deaths and 2,131,523 cases since the pandemic began. Thursday’s rolling daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 20.8%.

As of Thursday, there were 4,175 people with the coronavirus in county hospitals, according to the latest state figures, up from 3,912 the day prior.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday the rise in COVID patients is pushing the county’s overall hospital patient population to levels rivaling those of last winter’s case surge. She said the daily overall patient census — both COVID and non-COVID — is about 15,000 in the county, close to last winter’s peak of 16,500.

County Department of Health Services director Christina Ghaly said current staffing shortages are creating more critical conditions at hospitals. She pointed to a large number of health care workers who have retired or moved on from frontline work.

Ghaly also said that healthcare workers are just as, if not more, vulnerable to COVID infection— leaving many unavailable to work due to illness or exposure.

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