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L.A. County Won’t Offer Waivers for Elementary Schools to Reopen

August 4, 2020 by Juliet Bennett Rylah

Los Angeles County won’t extend waivers to reopen in-person education at elementary schools this fall because L.A. County’s COVID-19 case rate is too high to meet state criteria. 

The wavier system would allow some elementary schools to reopen for classroom education either fully or partially, even if they’re located within a county on the state’s watchlist. Schools that apply must be able to detail their health and safety protocols, including how they’d handle an outbreak should one occur. Waivers are only available to schools TK through sixth grade.

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However, guidance from the state says that counties can’t offer waivers if their case rate is 200 or more cases per 100,000 residents. Currently, Los Angeles County’s case rate is 355 cases per 100,000 residents. 

Per a release from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: 

“We know that to many families, this is a disappointing announcement, but it’s based on the existing science and data that is guiding all of our decision-making. We need to ensure the health and safety of our children, school teachers and staff and all of their families.”

Should Los Angeles County’s case decrease to 200 cases per 100,000 residents or below, the county will reconsider.

This may place a burden on parents who have already or will soon return to work and who now must find alternative childcare. If that applies to you, you can find resources on the county’s Office of Education website here or, if you’re in the city of Los Angeles, here.

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