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Schools in San Luis Obispo County will keep in-person classes amid surge of COVID-19 cases

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Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 22:54:51-05

Some schools in the nation are resorting to online learning after winter break, but schools in San Luis Obispo County plan to keep in-person learning. This comes even during another COVID-19 surge.

According to San Luis Obispo County Public Health officials, on December 30 in SLO County, there were 353 new cases, the highest number reported in a single day since last January.

James J. Brescia, San Luis Obispo County's Superintendent of Schools, says masking indoors will continue to be in place along with ventilation in classrooms and handwashing stations.

"All school employees in the county are either fully vaccinated or screened weekly for COVID-19 symptoms as another way to protect families," Brescia said.

As an effort to keep schools open, Gov. Gavin Newsom has sent more than six million at-home test kits to schools for students K-12 to use after holiday gatherings.

"We are receiving shipments from the state currently for home COVID-19 tests that will be distributed to all schools in San Luis Obispo County and made available to all families," Brescia said.

As students head back into classrooms, more children could begin receiving their third COVID-19 vaccine dose.

"With the approval of the Pfizer booster, parents and children who want to get a booster, children between 12-15, can now make that choice," said Chris Ecker, infection prevention specialist.

"I would tell parents that the anxiety around all of this is normal, just be as open and clear with your children as possible about what's going on," Brescia said.

The CDC still has to sign off on the Pfizer booster expansion. The panel is set to meet Wednesday.

As of December 1, other precautions in place at schools include the requirement to perform weekly screening tests on all athletes regardless of vaccination status. Weekly screening testing is also required for musicians playing wind instruments if a bell cover is not used. More information can be found here.