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Campuses in the Los Angeles school district have improved attendance and lower coronavirus rates in their second week since returning from winter break. But infections remain near record levels and the data are difficult to interpret because health officials have suspended contact-tracing requirements.

School officials said they are encouraged by the numbers, which come amid growing signs that the unprecedented surge of the Omicron variant could be peaking.

For the school week ending Jan. 16, L.A. school officials recorded an infection rate among students tested of 11%. This compares with a rate of 17% during baseline testing conducted from Jan. 3 through Jan. 10, prior to the start of school after winter break. The first day of classes was Jan. 11. The last week of school before winter break — when the Omicron variant surge already was pushing up numbers — the student infection rate was 0.22%.

Put another way, in testing during the week that ended Dec. 17, about 2 students in 1,000 tested positive. In early January baseline testing just before school restarted, about 170 students per 1,000 tested positive. And, during the first week of school, about 110 students per 1,000 tested positive.

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