Los Angeles County has met the mark that permits elementary school students to go back to class for in-person learning, county officials said.
The reopening of schools is for elementary students from kindergarten through 6th grade, and even though the county has met the figures required to receive the green light, the reopening will not happen immediately.
Link: See California's Safe Schools Reopening Map
Supervisor Janice Hahn said Monday the county has received notice from Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, that it has met the necessary case count figures.
“We got that notice from Dr. Ferrer, that we indeed hit that milestone and that we can begin to reopen elementary schools. And of course this all depends on, if the teachers feel safe going back to school,” Hahn said.
The counties not only have to meet a threshold, but they also have to bring down COVID-19 cases to a certain level in order to be able to reopen their classrooms. On top of that, they have to remain at that number for at least five consecutive days.
Despite what the state’s website claims, Hahn said that she received confirmation that the county has met that threshold and schools could reopen as early as this week. It was not immediately clear whether the state's website that tracks coronavirus cases and other metrics had updated Monday evening.
Link: Visit the California Safe Schools Hub for reopening information.
Hundreds of schools with waivers have already been allowed to resume in-person classes for grades TK - 2nd grade with COVID-19 regulations in place. Once the threshold is met, they will be able to expand their in-person learning through 6th grade. The threshold that needs to be met is a case rate of 25 per 100,000 residents.
Hahn added that the board was informed that the county has already met the numbers for the required five days.
Any schools wishing to reopen must submit plans to the County Department of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health certifying that they will implement a full range of safety measures according to a statement released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
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“This is an encouraging milestone, and we look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure students, teachers and staff will be returning to schools,” said a spokesperson from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
The statement also stated that Ferrer will release additional information on Tuesday afternoon at a 2 p.m. media briefing.