Orange County Votes To Reopen Schools Without Masks, Distancing In CA Hot Spot

Parents protest ahead of the Orange County Board of Education's meeting on reopening schools.Screengrab / CBS Los Angeles / YouTube


The Board of Education stressed that specific reopening plans will be left to individual school districts.

Leaders in Orange County, California, voted on Monday to reopen schools this fall without face mask requirements or increased social distancing, according to The Los Angeles Times.

  • The 4-1 decision comes amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
  • The Times reported that the Board of Education “did, however, leave reopening plans up to individual school districts.”
  • Recommendations from the board included “daily temperature checks, frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer, in addition to the nightly disinfection of classrooms, offices and transportation vehicles.”
  • A white paper containing the recommendations stated that remote learning during the pandemic has been an “utter failure” and widely supports reopening schools for the upcoming academic year.

“Among the many compelling expert arguments for reopening our schools, a number of us were also struck by something different, something we might call advice for adults,” the paper states. “Among our greatest responsibilities as adults is our responsibility to model courage and persistence in the face of uncertainty and fear, which is what many families are feeling with the mixed messages and confusion surrounding reopening of schools in the COVID-19 era.”

  • Board Vice President Mari Barke said: “These are simply guidelines to be looked at and to follow according to what’s best for your family—take it for what it is and do what you’re most comfortable with.”
  • The Los Angeles and San Diego districts announced on Monday that they would stick with a virtual model for schools next month due to the new wave of COVID-19 cases.

Read the full report.


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