One day after Governor Gavin Newsom released new guidelines to be followed when schools, day care centers and youth sports leagues reopen, Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer released a statement saying her department would not be allowing schools to reopen under a waiver process.
“At this point,” wrote Ferrer, “Public Health will not be opening up our waiver process for schools. We will be closely reviewing the guidance from the state and will be reviewing all options with the Board to ensure that schools are able to open as safely as possible for all children and staff.”
At this point, Public Health will not be opening up our waiver process for schools. We will be closely reviewing the guidance from the state and will be reviewing all options with the Board to ensure that schools are able to open as safely as possible for all children and staff. pic.twitter.com/0pfmQmFk05
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) August 26, 2020
Under Newsom’s guidelines, counties are still be subject to state monitoring and, if they fall onto the state monitoring list, cannot proceed with any of the new recommendations. Schools can, however apply for a waiver.
According to Ferrer, the Governor allowed local health officers the discretion to grant waivers to school districts and private schools that would permit them to reopen for in-classroom instruction for students in grades TK-6 once local case rates were under 200 per 100,000 people.
On Tuesday, the case rate per 100,000 people in Los Angeles is 196 cases per 100,000 residents.
In a statement the same day, Ferrer said that it is too early to tell if the County’s 14-day case rate will remain below 200.
Newsom has promised more new guidelines impacting the reopening of businesses and modification of stay-at-home orders. He did not say if the guidelines would be more restrictive or less.
The governor did reveal that watch periods may vary from business sector to business sector. The modifications would also impact the current stay-at-home order, he said. Newsom was careful not to reveal the exact direction of the guidelines — whether looser or more strict, except for one small detail.
“It has been traditional to look at a 14 day period,” he said, in terms of safety periods before reopening. Newsom said that, in some cases, those watch periods could extend “potentially up to 21 days.”
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