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Local school districts navigate classes resuming as COVID-19 cases rise

School districts in the valley are dealing with rising COVID-19 cases just as winter break is wrapping up. Here's how each school district going about ensuring the safety of students and staff as classes resume:

Palm Springs Unified School District

PSUSD said in a statement to News Channel 3:

"On Monday, Jan. 10 we are resuming in-person instruction at all PSUSD school sites. As we did throughout the fall, we will continue to have voluntary testing at each school site resuming on Monday, January 10th. We are anticipating receiving home testing kits from the county and will distribute them as soon as possible after students return on Monday. We are also providing voluntary testing for staff members every day this week at three district locations."

Palm Springs Unified School District

Coachella Valley Unified School District

CVUSD is currently offering free COVID-19 tests for students, staff, parents, and community members until Jan.7 at all school sites and the district office from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There is no appointment necessary, however, you can register here.

CVUSD is continuing to offer PCR testing for COVID-19, however, the district informed families that they are not offering COVID-19 rapid antigen tests Jan. 5 through Jan. 7 due to a shortage of the rapid tests. The following statement is what the CVUSD sent to its families:

"Dear Families,

Beginning tomorrow, January 5, through January 7, 2022, we will not be able to offer free covid-19 antigen testing (15-minute test) due to a shortage of 15-minute tests resulting from an unprecedented high number of tests administered at our District and school locations. In the meantime, we will continue to offer free PCR testing at all our testing sites. Please note that PCR test results may arrive within 48 hours of testing.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience."

- Coachella Valley Unified School District

CVUSD officials said they hope they can have more tests starting next Monday. Also, they will continue testing on Jan. 10 at the same locations as before, but from 8:30 a.m and 3:30 p.m.

Desert Sands Unified School District

DSUSD already resumed classes on Jan. 3. However, DSUSD officials said class attendance so far is lower than what was expected this week. In a statement DSUSD said:

"Desert Sands Unified School District experienced 82% attendance on Monday, January 3, as students and staff returned to class following winter break. Tuesday's attendance was 84%. Average 2018 and 2019 first day back after winter break was above 94%. With the increase in people being tested, additional positive cases are expected. DSUSD is closely monitoring the situation and is working with the public health department as it evolves. We continue to look at each classroom, working individually with the schools. Additional information will be provided as available."

- Desert Sands Unified School District

DSUSD COVID-19 dashboard shows 436 positive cases, which is up 134 from Tuesday. 107 staff and 329 students have tested positive for COVID-19.

The district will host another testing clinic on Sunday, Jan. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the DSUSD office.

All three school districts shared with News Channel 3 they're waiting on shipments of at-home COVID-19 tests from Riverside County. When the tests are received, they will be distributed to the students.

On Dec. 22, Governor Newsom announced additional actions to protect Californians from COVID-19. As part of the announcement, he said the state will be increasing the availability of at-home COVID-19 tests across California so that K-12 public school students can be tested as they return to school from winter break.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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