California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new rules on Friday, about opening the schools in California in fall.
In addition to his announcement is a manual for schools and educators in continuing school operations amid COVID-19.
“Science will determine when a school can be physically open,” he wrote in his Twitter account.
Schools can only physically open if their county is off the COVID-19 monitor list for 14 consecutive days, he said.
However, schools that do not fall under this category will start their school year in fall with distance learning.
The guideline “truly helps” school districts, said Dr. Debra Duardo, LA County Superintendent of Schools to ABC7.
The “clear requirements” make it easier for the schools’ reopening by not making individual decisions for themselves, she added.
There are 31 counties in California included in the monitoring list as of July 16.
Furthermore, most of them are located in the southern part of the state.
Guideline for Schools
In case a school was able to physically open, there are guidelines for the continuous safety of everyone.
First, promote healthy hygiene practices, including proper washing of hands and covering coughs and sneezes.
Second, everyone is required to wear masks in school following the California Department of Public Health guidelines.
Students and school staff are required to wear face coverings unless they are exempted due to health reasons.
Another exception is students under the age of two.
Face coverings can only be removed when eating food or when they are outdoor for recreation.
Third, cleaning and disinfection should be increased and in doing so, there needs to be proper ventilation.
Fourth, schools should implement social distancing, inside and outside the classroom.
Fifth, schools should ensure an adequate number of supplies to lessen the amount of sharing between people.
Lastly, the school should train the staff and the children’s families in following safety measures.
In the case of some contracting the virus, they need to close once “5% of students & staff test positive in 14-days”.
Trump Orders School Reopening
Since last week, US President Donald Trump has been pushing for the reopening of schools in the fall.
On July 6, he even tweeted in all caps, “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!”.
However, some educators do not agree that it is safe, given the surging cases of COVID-19 in different states.