An interactive map released Friday from California health officials allows residents to track the status of school campus reopenings as communities in the nation's most populous state see signs of improvement in the battle against the coronavirus.
The Safe Schools Reopening Map provides data on the status of reopening and safety planning for school districts, charter and private schools in Los Angeles and across California. Officials hope it will help communities and school staff evaluate their own reopening plans.
Link: See California's Safe Schools Reopening Map
Schools will update their information every two weeks, and the California Department of Public Health will add data on reported outbreaks in each school district and information about whether schools have partnered with the Valencia Branch Lab for COVID-19 testing.
"As COVID-19 conditions continue to improve and vaccinations ramp up throughout the state, this map will provide local communities with accessible, up-to-date information on how districts in their communities and beyond are adapting to the pandemic, including safety planning and implementation,'' said
Gov. Gavin Newsom. "This map is one of many resources we have made available
that will help school staff and families make informed decisions as we safely
reopen our schools.''
The map was created through a partnership between the state, county office of education and the California Collaborative in Education Excellence. It can be accessed here.
Newsom has said he is nearing an agreement with state legislators on his proposed $6.6 billion plan to expediting the reopening of school campuses, with sweeping safety measures, limits on numbers of students in classrooms and
provision of protective equipment.
But officials from several of the state's largest school districts, including Los Angeles Unified, have balked at the governor's plan, saying it falls short on funding for urban school districts. LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and the United Teachers Los Angeles union have also called for campuses to remain closed until teachers and staff can be vaccinated -- a position opposed by Newsom.
On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released what it calls a roadmap of guidelines for the reopening of school campuses. The document urges local health officials to give ``high priority to teachers in early phases of vaccine distribution,'' but it says vaccines are not required for in-person learning.
Current state guidelines allow the reopening of school campuses for pre-kindergarten through sixth grade when a county's COVID-19 average rate of
new cases drops to 25 per 100,000 residents. Los Angeles County's rate is
currently about 31 new cases per 100,000, but it has been steadily dropping,
and it could meet the required threshold as early as next week.