More in Schools:
Sentinel staff report–
As coronavirus case rates consistently drop in Sacramento County and pressure to reopen schools increases, the San Juan Unified School District said in a Feb. 25 update that a plan is in place to reopen once the county moves out of the most-restrictive “Purple Tier” of COVID-19 classifications.
“Currently, plans and agreements are in place to offer the option to return to in-person learning for ALL grade levels once Sacramento County reaches the red tier of the state’s COVID-19 risk assessment system,” the district wrote in a weekly COVID-19 update following a school board meeting on Tuesday. “Progress toward the red tier continues to be encouraging with both case numbers and testing positivity rates falling sharply in recent weeks.”
The district said its superintendent, Kent Kern, is hopeful “to be able to offer an in-person learning option for all students prior to spring break,” at the end of March. Face coverings, testing, social distancing and other protocols would be in place, but the district clarified an opening date “is dependent on safety plan updates and local health metrics at that time.”
According to state guidelines, the county will enter the “Red Tier” when case rates fall below 7 per 100,000 and the positivity rate falls under 8 percent. District officials said the case rate, adjusted for equity, was 8.2 percent, with the case rate at 15.3 per 100,000, according to the latest data from the state — which has more delayed reporting than the county. (See state website)
County data shows ICU cases have fallen from a high of 128 last month down to 50 cases, as of Friday. Hospitalized cases have also dropped from more than 500 last month down to 177 at the end of February.
The district confirmed schools can reopen within two weeks after the county enters the red tier, but also said “ongoing conversations” are underway to adopt a shorter 5-day timeline for reopening in the red tier.
Board members also requested during the Feb. 23 school board meeting that staff identify a date for returning K-6 grade levels to in-person learning, in the event the county does not enter the red tier prior to spring break. Under state guidelines, K-6 grade levels can reopen in the purple tier, if certain requirements are met.
The district also said it hosted a vaccination clinic for educators and those over age 65 on Feb. 20, where more than 2,200 vaccine doses were distributed. Another clinic was planned for this weekend.
The district’s latest update can be viewed online at sanjuan.edu.
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