Emilio Mendoza, 7, held a toy plane as he stood in the queue with his parents. At the check-in table, Emilio pumped hand sanitizer into his palms and rubbed them together. The technician showed him the swab and explained how it worked. She counted out loud to 15 as Emilio followed along on his fingers — and then it was over. In 24 hours Emilio’s parents were texted the result: negative.
“He’s not vaccinated, so for us, it’s always going to be a little bit of a concern, uncertainty, especially if there are outbreaks,” said his mother Liliana Curioca, who is also a Telfair teacher. “But testing will help.”
Emilio’s nasal swab test is a starting point in L.A. Unified’s colossal effort to screen every single student, teacher and staff member — more than half a million people — once a week for the foreseeable future.