Some Los Angeles Elementary Schools Might Reopen Under New Waiver Program

ABC7 reports that some LA County schools might offer in-person classes for elementary and pre-kindergarten students under a new waiver program.

According to ABC7, LA County's public health director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, says the state of California has authorized local health departments to grant waivers to school districts that want to offer in-person classes for pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students.

LA County is creating a plan to allow for these in-person classes to take place, and adds that there would be very strict guidelines. Dr. Ferrer says waivers would only be granted in close consultation with the state. More information and details on the program is expected by next week.

This news follows after Gov. Gavin Newsome announced campuses in counties that are on the state's COVID-19 watch list, including L.A. County, will not be allowed to resume in-person learning. The fall learning semester is set to begin next month.

If campuses are allowed to reopen, schools must follow the state’s guidance for limiting the spread of the coronavirus: all school staff and students in third grade and above must wear masks, younger children should be encouraged to wear face shields, and everyone has to maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet apart and undergo temperature checks.

Staff will be tested for the coronavirus on a rotating basis and schools will have to sanitize campuses. The county health department has yet to specify exactly which metrics officials will be looking at and what the data should look like for a waiver to be granted.

For more on the new waiver program, visit LA County's Health Department website.

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