State Watch — Verizon
California governor says Orange County can’t reopen schools days after vote to reopen
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday announced that some schools in the state will remain online-only in the fall rather than reopening to in-person classes.
Schools that are in counties currently on the state’s coronavirus watch list do not meet Newsom’s criteria to reopen. That means that as of Friday, 80 percent of the state’s schools cannot reopen in the fall.
Those counties include Orange County, where the education board just this week approved reopening without masks or social distancing.
Masks are also required for teachers and students in third grade and above in schools that reopen, according to Newsom. Additional requirements include physical distancing, symptom checks, hand-washing stations and increased sanitation.
Newsom clarified that the new guidance is a “mandate” for both public and private schools in the state.
Newsom’s announcement standardizes guidance for the state after two large school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — already announced they would not reopen for in-person learning in the fall.
Schools in counties that are not on the list are not required to reopen, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Newsom noted he hopes that counties will “fall off” the monitoring list in order to allow them to reopen schools.
“Our default is in-person, but we have to do it in a safe way,” he said.
Counties must remain off the list for 14 days in order to reopen. The state’s Department of Public Health decides which counties are on the list, and factors include large outbreaks and increased hospitalization.
Churches, indoor shopping malls, barber shops and gyms are already required to close in counties on the list.
Updated at 4 p.m.