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Eight in 1,000 Los Angeles Unified students tested positive for the coronavirus in the two weeks leading up to the Monday start of the academic year, according to “baseline” testing results, a rate of infection that has crept up since the close of summer school on July 23.

Because L.A. Unified is so large — with more than 450,000 students expected to attend classes in person, the number of student infections also was large, totaling 3,255 students, with an overall infection rate of .8%. The infection rate among the district’s staff was smaller, at .6%.

Officials said they remain confident that campuses are safe and the best place to be for the vast majority of students.

This baseline data from the start of the school year will be used to evaluate how the coronavirus is affecting the nation’s second-largest school district, which is operating the largest and most ambitious school-based testing program in the nation. More than half a million children and adults are to be tested weekly on campus beginning this week.

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