Redondo Beach Unified School District cases down; County Health “surge protocols” take effect at high school

Covid-19 cases this week at RUHS dropped from 12.6 percent of its population to 5.6 percent.

by Garth Meyer

Positive COVID-19 tests among Redondo Unified students have declined over the past two weeks. 

“We have kids in school, where they should be and our kids are safe,” Superintendent Dr. Steven Keller said on Tuesday. “We have no seriously ill kids or staff members.”

Students testing positive at Redondo Union High dropped from 14 percent of its population last Tuesday to 12.6 percent this Tuesday. Beryl Heights Elementary positive tests fell from 15 percent to 13.4 over the same period.  

Dreizler Continuation High School had an increase in positive tests, from 19 to 24 percent among its 57 students and staff. But Jessica Silberling, Executive Director of Special Education, said the higher case numbers at Dreizler were not as concerning as they appear because many of the Dreizler students who tested positive were never on campus, and there is no known link between the students’ positive cases.

Updates made this week to L.A. county schools’ quarantine guidelines include “surge protocols.” 

Under the new guidelines, if a student has symptoms and tests positive, the parents of students who had a class with the positive student in the preceding two days will get an “exposure letter.” 

For parents in the district uncomfortable with in-person learning, Keller reiterates the opportunity for independent study. More than 100 are in the program. 

“We have not been given a threshold by the LA County Department of Public Health,” Keller said in reference to the number of cases that would trigger closing a campus.

RUHS walkout aftermath

Superintendent Steven Keller and School Board President Raymur Flinn met for two hours last week with Michael Lee-Chang, a senior who helped promote the Jan. 12 student walkout, in protest of “leniency” in the schools COVID-19 protocols. Approximately 200 students participated in the walk-out.

Lee-Chang also met with RUHS Principal Anthony Bridi and Assistant Principal Kyle Garrity.

Lee-Chang said he appreciated the opportunity to meet with school administrators, but remains skeptical of the district’s Covid-19 policies. 

“Logistically-speaking, nothing has changed,” he said. “They’re seeing distance learning as an apocalyptic scenario.”

By Lee-Chang’s and others accounts, the walkout included many students there just to see what was happening.

“I think it was a valuable conversation,” Keller said  meeting with Lee-Chang. “We better understand his view and he has a better understanding of process, protocol and bureaucracy.” ER

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