California Governor Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference Friday that schools in some counties across the state must remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All schools in the more than 30 counties currently on the state's COVID-19 monitoring list will not be able to physically reopen their doors at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.
For schools that are allowed to reopen, strict guidelines are in place. Those include having staff and students in the 3rd grade and up wear masks. Face coverings for younger children would be encouraged but not enforced. Staff will also be required to maintain social distancing between each other and their students. Governor Newsom said school days should begin with temperature checks.
Public Health Departments will be monitoring COVID-19 in education institutions. Teachers and staff would be tested every other month, or every month. If students or educators test positive for the virus, a classroom would have to close and quarantine for 14 days. If an entire student body and staff reach an infection rate of 5%, the school would need to close, or if a school district has 25% of their schools closed within a 14 day period.
Schools can reopen for in-person learning once they are off the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
The guidelines announced on Friday apply only to K-12 grades. The Governor said the state is now working on guidelines for colleges and universities.
There is a total of 32 counties on the monitoring list, which makes up 80% of the state's population. A more in-depth guide to the new guidelines announced Friday can be found here.
As of Friday, July 17, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County are on the state's monitoring list. They will not be able to open for in-person learning until they are off that list for 14 consecutive days.
Some schools on the Central Coast have already announced their plans for the 2020-21 school year. You can find more on those guidelines in the stories listed below.
San Luis Coastal Unified announces distance learning for start of 2020-21 school year
Santa Maria Valley school administrators meet to discuss fall plans
Lucia Mar Unified School District requiring distance learning for start of 2020-2021 school year
Lompoc Unified unveils hybrid-learning model for start of 2020-21 school year