With school years ending and prom season approaching, Los Angeles Public Health has suggested they be moved outdoors for COVID-19 safety.

Lockdowns prevented proms in the previous two school years and schools will be challenged with putting them together while still being in a pandemic.

L.A. Public Health director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer had a few suggestions on Wednesday for schools to safely navigate through their proms, with one being outdoor proms.

I’m not an advocate for curtailing activities, because I think you can do these activities with a lot of safety.” Ferrer said in a Wednesday media update. “One thing you can immediately do to have a safer prom is to have it outside.”

Ferrer continued by suggesting testing before the prom event if is held indoors, as L.A. County schools already being equipped with a vast supply of COVID-19 tests.

“Certainly at schools, we have ample supplies of testing,” Ferrer said. “Nobody at a school would be short of a testing kit. That would allow them to ask the folks coming to these extracurricular activities, if they’re going to be indoors and there’s going to be a lot of close contacts, to get that test before gathering.”

The number of COVID-19 cases increased in L.A. County by 25% over the past week, with single-day numbers surpassing 3,000 on Thursday for the first time since February 19.

Several COVID-19 outbreaks have also hit L.A.County schools with 13 class outbreaks occurring in the past seven days. Most of the outbreaks came within elementary aged-students, with Ferrer attributing it to the spread of the BA.2 omicron variant.

Even with cases increasing, Ferrer said she believes school events can take place and in a safe manner.

“People need to be cautious and careful and have a good time, knowing that you don’t want to wreck that good time by becoming sick, or getting somebody else sick,” Ferrer said. “I want everyone to absolutely enjoy those extracurricular activities, but we still have to do them with some safety precautions in mind.”

LA Weekly