Jul 17, 2020 - Health

Gov. Newsom outlines plan for California students to return to class

Gavin Newsom wearing a face mask

Gov. Gavin Newsom in Los Angeles on June 3. Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that schools in high-risk counties cannot reopen for in-person learning unless their risk status has been downgraded by the California health department for two consecutive weeks.

The big picture: Los Angeles and San Diego's announcement that students will not return to campuses next month could kick off a domino effect across the U.S. among officials who haven't made final calls on how to safely reopen schools.

Details: There is one exception to the rule, the governor's office said. Elementary schools can hold in-person classes if granted a waiver from local health officials, in consultation with California's health department, "parents and community-based organizations."

  • Schools "should revert to distance learning when multiple cohorts have cases," Newsom outlined, or when 5% of students and staff have tested positive within a single two-week period.
  • An entire district should return to online teaching after 25% or more of its schools have been closed due to the virus within 14 days, the governor said.

What he's saying: "In CA, science will determine when a school can be physically open— and when it must close. But learning must be non-negotiable. Schools must provide meaningful learning during #COVID19. And we must do everything we can to keep our teachers, staff & students safe," Newsom tweeted on Friday.

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