The COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout Tulare County, impacting our schools to return to in-person classroom instruction. Tulare County Public Health is assisting schools as they plan and develop protocols for returning to the classroom once it’s safe to do so.
Tulare County Public Health will adhere to the guidance set forth by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which recommends that counties with daily case rates at or above 14 cases per 100,000 residents do not approve waivers for the reopening of in-person classroom instruction for students in grades TK–6.
Tulare County Public Health is considering the reopening of in-person classroom instruction for grades TK-2 with approved modifications. Consideration will be extended to Grades 3-6 when Tulare County is able to meet and maintain the 14 per 100,000 case rate. Only elementary schools are eligible to submit waivers for when local metrics have improved.
For all grade levels to return to in-person instruction and all schools to reopen, per State Order and requirement, Tulare county must move out of the Widespread County Risk Level for a period of 14 consecutive days with daily case rates at or below 7 cases per 100,000 residents and a positive test rate of less than 8% to safely reopen all schools at all grade levels.
Ensuring the health and safety of children, teachers, staff, and all of their families is the top priority. It’s recommended that schools develop a reopening plan that meets the requirements set forth by CDPH and Tulare County Public Health. Prior to submitting for a waiver, the school superintendent or equivalent must consult with labor, parent, and community organizations to develop and publish a reopening plan.
On August 25, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued Guidance Related to Cohorts (Cohorting Guidance), which sets minimum health and safety guidelines across multiple sectors serving youth, including childcare and schools (public and private). The purpose of the Cohorting Guidance is to establish minimum parameters for providing specialized services, targeted services and support for students while schools are otherwise closed for in-person instruction in ways that maintain the focus on health and safety to minimize transmission. Learn more by reviewing the following guidance documents: