The majority of schools in California will not be reopening for in-person education this fall, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a news conference today.
All private and public schools in 33 of California’s 58 counties will be required to close under Newsom’s new guidance. Those 33 counties represent more than 80% of the state’s population.
Newsom on Monday asked these counties — which are on the state’s watch list — to close indoor activities, such as gyms, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, hair salons and barbershops, and indoor malls.
Schools in these counties will need to meet strict criteria in order to reopen, including physical distancing measures and the use of face coverings. Newsom also recommended regular testing and “rigorous distance learning” which includes daily live interaction with teachers and other students.
Under the new guidance, staff and students in 3rd grade and above will be required to wear face coverings in classrooms. Students from Kindergarten through 2nd grade are not required, but encouraged to wear them.
Schools can only reopen for in-person education if the county has been off the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
Earlier this week, some of the largest school districts in the state announced they would continue with full distance learning in the fall, instead of returning students to campuses. The decisions by Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento school districts, meant more than 1 million students would not be returning to classrooms in August.
These are the 33 counties on the watch list:
- Contra Costa
- Los Angeles
- San Benito
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Joaquin
- San Luis Obispo
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Clara