State Waiver Program for Opening Elementary Schools

State Waiver Program for Opening Elementary Schools

Sacramento, CA – Last week the State of California announced a process for allowing public, private and charter elementary schools to seek clearance to conduct in-person instruction if they meet certain criteria. Within hours of the announcement, the county Department of Public Health (DPH) announced the creation of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Elementary Education Waiver Packet. Shortly thereafter the county’s Superintendent of Schools in alignment with DPH provided waiver packets, complete with waiver application forms, to all elementary schools and districts. Twelve other schools in the county, all private, have also applied for waivers. However, the state has suspended consideration of waiver applications until it can resolve issues with its data system. County Public Health Director Corwin Porter advised the state to recommend that schools within San Bernardino County not be considered for a waiver because the novel coronavirus case-to-population ratio in the county is greater than 200 per 100,000. Surprisingly, schools can still apply for a waiver if they believe an exception should be made. By noon Friday, August 14 cases in the county reached 39,374 up 1.6% over the previous day. Cases in the county were doubling every 21.1 days. By July 31, 2020, 409 county residents had died from the virus. By noon Friday, 152 additional residents were added to the growing number of lives in San Bernardino County cut short by COVID-19 so far this month.

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