Alameda County Releases Timeline For Reopening Schools

nearmetips Posted: 2020-11-17 08:38:40
Dozens of Alameda County schools have already reopened to serve elementary school students. (Shutterstock)
ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA — Alameda County middle and high school students may begin returning to classrooms the week of Nov. 9, public health officials announced Wednesday.

Still, the decision to reopen is up to schools, the Alameda County Health Services Agency said in a news release.

"That does not mean all schools have the resources to be ready as soon as opening is permitted," said Dr. Nicolas Moss, the county's interim health officer, in the release. "Some schools will need more time and should open classrooms only when they and their school communities are prepared to do so."

L. Karen Monroe, Alameda County superintendent of schools, said in a statement that the health and wellbeing of students, staff and families are top priorities. The county Office of Education will work closely with local public health officials and be responsive to COVID-19 data, if it indicates changes are needed.

Schools officials are maintaining "a sense of cautious optimism, knowing the significant challenges that lie ahead and the obstacles still to come in bringing our students and staff, particularly in our public districts, back into classrooms."

Schools must distribute their safety reopening plans online and with the Alameda County Office of Education, which will then share the plans with the county Health Care Services Agency.

Since Oct. 13, Alameda County has been in the orange tier, which is the second-lowest tier in the state's four-tiered, color-coded risk system. It indicates a "moderate" COVID-19 risk level. The state allows orange-tier counties to fully reopen schools with safety modifications, but Alameda County public health officials initially remained cautious and allowed a limited number of reopenings approved for counties in the more restrictive red tier.

Cases are rising elsewhere in the country, but Alameda County's stable COVID-19 metrics prompted officials to give more schools the go-ahead to reopen, officials said.

Parents should contact their schools to determine whether students will be able to return to school next month.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been a total of 23,471 COVID-19 cases and 462 associated deaths reported in Alameda County. Get the full statistical breakdown here.

See which Alameda County schools have already begun to open to elementary students here.


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