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Los Angeles May Reopen Schools, Class TK-6 For Classroom Instruction – Deadline

Late Monday night, Los Angeles County health officials released some long overdue good news. In a statement, they said the region has met the required threshold of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 to allow students to return to classrooms.

The issue has been controversial throughout the pandemic, with many parents questioning why private schools were allowed to reopen and, if there had not been a trend of an outbreak in schools in the region, why are public schools were not allowed to attend.

Teacher unions have repeatedly expressed concern for their members, who were not part of the Phase 1a worker group prioritized by Governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom has since included them in the state’s next consortium.

The governor said last week that he did not expect all teachers to be vaccinated anytime soon – or even by the end of the school year. Newsom believes, however, that schools can be reopened despite this.

Mayor Eric Garcetti says first doses of Covid-19 vaccine in Los Angeles are still very low this week

“We can do this safely before everyone is vaccinated,” he said.

Data from the California Department of Public Health from January 1 to February 1 confirmed 87 outbreaks in open schools in California. Of these, 42 were in primary schools, 33 in secondary and 12 in colleges. An outbreak is defined as the infection of three or more people at a time.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said on Monday that the district has done its part in making sure every campus is safe, including:

– Redesigned 80 million square feet of school building space to ensure air is properly filtered

-Cleaned and disinfected all the rooms of each school

-Masks and PPE provided

-Reconfigured classrooms and facilities to maintain social distance;

-Creation of a COVID-19 screening and contact tracing program in schools.

The U.S. Centers for Disease and Control released new guidelines for schoolchildren last week.

Beutner also announced that LAUSD’s first school-based COVID-19 vaccination center will open at the Roybal Learning Center at 1200 Colton St. near downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday. Moderna vaccines will be administered by LAUSD school nurses and other licensed healthcare professionals.

Microsoft, Anthem, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are joining the effort, and LAUSD’s immunization effort will use a system built with Microsoft, including recording and scheduling, tracking vaccines in stock, and tracking down contacts.

Beutner said officials are working to open as many school sites as possible.

The entire Monday night health department statement reads:

The state allows elementary schools to reopen as soon as we reach an adjusted case rate of 25 per 100,000. We are emailing Los Angeles County schools tonight that we plan to announce that we have reached that threshold. starting Tuesday February 16.

This encouraging news means that dozens of elementary schools will be allowed to reopen for classroom instruction for students in TK-6 grades as of this week.

All schools wishing to reopen must submit plans to the County Department of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health, certifying that they have implemented a full range of safety measures to allow a safe reopening.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer will release additional information on Tuesday afternoon at a press conference at 2:00 pm. This is an encouraging step and we look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure the safety of students, teachers and staff returning to schools.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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