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Local school districts dealing with COVID-19 as classes are back in session post-winter break

Monday is the day classes are resuming for Coachella Valley and Palm Springs Unified School Districts after their three-week-long winter break. Desert Sands Unified School District started its second week of classes back after winter break.


PSUSD said it is handing out at-home COVID-19 testing kits to its students in their classrooms. However, it is not requiring home testing. It is also resuming COVID-19 testing to students and staff only at their school sites. It will be available every day during regular school hours.

PSUSD family members who need testing can visit the District Administration Center in Palm Springs between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a rapid test. The Edward Wenzlaff Education Center in Desert Hot Springs was also offering rapid tests but had to close down temporarily because of a staffing shortage. District officials said it will open again within a day or two.


CVUSD is offering COVID-19 testing at each of their school sites and district office in Thermal from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Anyone from the community is welcome to get tested but the district said it encourages them to get tested at the district office instead.

CVUSD is providing rapid 15 minute COVID-19 antigen tests at their sites, but it is prioritizing students and staff for those tests.

Monday, Jan. 10 is also the deadline for CVUSD personnel to be vaccinated. The Coachella Valley Teachers Association president, Carissa Carrera, said there is currently now staff shortage because of the mandate.

Carrera said about 47 people who she represents who have certificates (teachers, counselors, nurses, etc.) sought exemptions for either medical or religious reasons. She said those people were able to go to work today and were granted a temporary exemption. She said about 3 people didn't seek an exemption or get vaccinated and they are on an unpaid status and not working at the moment.

"It seems that the biggest groups of people who did not do either one (get vaccinated or seek exemption) and may be on unpaid status as of today, is our substitutes..." said Carrera. "So that's where I'm concerned because our substitute teachers seemed to have a large amount that didn't do either one and might be not working today because we're already under a substitute shortage."


DSUSD students received at-home COVID-19 testing kits on Friday. The district said parents could test their child at home over the weekend and notify their school if their child tests positive. DSUSD said it encourages families to use the at-home kits to combat the spread of COVID-19.

As of Jan. 10, DSUSD saw nearly 200 more COVID-19 cases since last Friday. 

DSUSD is hosting several vaccination clinics at its headquarters within the next month.

  • Desert Sands Unified School District - North Building
    • 47950 Dune Palms Road, La Quinta, CA  92253
    • Tuesday, January 11 and Friday, January 14
    • Time: 2PM - 6PM
  • Desert Sands Unified School District - North Building
    • 47950 Dune Palms Road, La Quinta, CA  92253
    • Wed., January 19 and Wed., February 2
    • Time: 10AM - 6PM
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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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