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City Will Not Seek Waivers to Reopen Schools

Case rate must come down for local public and private school classrooms to open

Published on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 | 10:53 am

Opening local schools is off the table until the coronavirus case rate comes down, according to a statement released by the city Wednesday.

“The city of Pasadena Department of Public Health will adhere to new guidance from the California Department of Public Health, which recommends that counties with case rates of COVID-19 at or above 200 cases per 100,000 residents do not extend waivers for the reopening of classroom instruction for students in grades TK- 6,” the statement reads.

L.A. County’s case rate is currently 355 cases per 100,000 residents, which officials say is too high.

Although Pasadena has its own health department, the order applies to all schools in Los Angeles County.

California health officials have barred school campuses from reopening this fall in counties that are on the state’s coronavirus monitoring list due to high case counts or other metrics reflecting the transmission of the virus in a given county.

“The science and data is guiding the decision-making, and although discouraging, it’s in the best interest to help protect the health and safety of our children, teachers and staff and their families they go home to every night,” said Pasadena Public Health Director Dr. Ying-Ying Goh.

This decision will be reconsidered once the case rate falls to the levels recommended by the state.

Goh said the Pasadena Health Department will continue to work with its health partners across the county to implement infection control strategies that are known to effectively reduce community transmission. The city will also be monitoring case rates so that schools can reopen for in-person instruction as soon as the data and science indicate it’s safer to do so.

While all schools across the county, public and private, are closed for in-person instruction of students, teachers, staff and administrators are allowed to return to school buildings provided adults adhere to existing protocols that require physical distancing and infection control measures, including wearing face coverings.

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