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Manhattan Beach Schools Answer Questions on COVID Protocols

Aug 21, 2021 08:50AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
The Manhattan Beach Unified School District has released an FAQ on how the district will handle COVID tests, contact tracing, quarantine requirements and more.

COVID Testing

The district is asking that all students in all age groups participate in diagnostic COVID screening testing before the start of school.

Currently, students need to go to an outside testing center. MBUSD is evaluating its ability to offer testing for students and will provide more information on any potential testing opportunities soon.

(Not an official endorsement, but DigMB has had good luck with easy appointments and quick turnaround at SameDay Testing in Manhattan Beach.)

MBUSD is asking for current testing results within a week of the first day of school. While the test is not required, the district says that it is "strongly encouraging" all families to have students tested by the first day of school on August 25.

When students report for the first day of school, they will be asked to turn in a paper copy of the test results with the following information at the top of the page:

1) The student’s full name,

2) I.D. number (found in the Aeries portal)

3) Grade level

4) Homeroom teacher or first period teacher name

(Mira Costa students will receive instruction on how to turn in this information electronically.)

By asking all students and staff to test, the district aims to establish baseline data that will help identify any current cases, asymptomatic or otherwise, and provide an extra layer of mitigation strategy to prevent on-campus spread as the school year begins.

As testing guidance evolves, the district says that it will continue to evaluate its capacity and the general advisability of ongoing diagnostic screening testing for students and staff. At a minimum, MBUSD will be requiring weekly diagnostic screening testing for unvaccinated employees.

Contact Tracing

If a student tests positive while school is in session (or if the period when exposure was possible or the student’s quarantine/isolation period extends to a time when school is/was/will be in session), regardless of the location of potential exposure, parents are asked to contact the school immediately. The school will then begin any necessary contact tracing to protect other students and work to stop any further potential transmission.

MBUSD will use the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's flowchart for determining how to proceed with contract tracing in the case of a positive COVID exposure.

Testing and quarantine decisions are made based on whether or not students were “close contacts,” with a close contact defined as “a child or employee at the facility who was within 6 feet for ≥15 minutes over a 24-hour period with a potentially infected child OR who had direct contact with bodily fluids/secretions from a potentially infected child.

"Close contact" will be based upon physical distance and contact with bodily fluids/secretions, regardless of whether the contact took place indoors or outdoors.

If a student tests positive for COVID, a positive diagnosis does not necessarily mean that an entire class will be quarantined; only those with close contact will be quarantined, based on the current LACDPH decision pathways.


MBUSD is not requiring vaccinations for eligible students at this time. However, the district is planning to require that students submit evidence of vaccination for contact tracing purposes. If evidence is not provided, the student will be considered unvaccinated for contact tracing purposes.

The district will be requiring masks for the 2021/2022 school year. In general, not wearing a mask will be considered a violation of school rules (and state law). In rare cases, students who present appropriate documentation demonstrating a disability or condition that does not allow them to safely wear a mask may be granted an accommodation in consultation with a health care provider.

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