Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles Unified students returned to campus from winter break Tuesday morning amid a record-breaking surge in coronavirus cases, standing in long lines to enter campus as administrators scrambled at check-in stations when the district’s health-screening system failed.

The conditions, including staffing shortages, student absences, and apprehensive parents and students, tested the district’s carefully laid plans to open schools in the nation’s second-largest district amid stressful conditions.

Interim Supt. Megan K. Reilly acknowledged the delay some families faced when the district’s Daily Pass screening system wasn’t working well during the morning rush to school.

“We thought we might have something like this occur. We apologize for that,” she said at a news conference at Olive Vista Middle School in Sylmar. “I think everyone’s getting through,” she said, adding that school principals were prepared with physical paperwork to check students into school. “They have a daily list that they can actually print out and if things get slowed down, they actually can just go to a manual list.”

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