Newsom announces plan to vaccinate CA teachers, students, open schools

Published December 30th, 2020 by Germbusters

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON/AP) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday morning said the state aims to reopen in-person learning in all California schools by spring 2021, with distance learning still an option.

During the press conference at 10 a.m., he said attending class was not a higher risk of getting COVID-19, according to a CDC study.

Rather, the study mentioned that children are more likely to get COVID-19 from adults in their household than from another child in class. Even so, as an added protection when returning to classrooms, the state is attempting to prioritize teachers and school staff for vaccinations in the spring as well.

However, he emphasizes including safety rules when reopening school buildings.

“The guidelines that are in place allow for schools to operate in-person,” Newsom reminded, even during restrictive purple tiers. “The schools have an obligation to submit safety plans.”

A Safe Schools plan posted to the California Department of Public Health website suggests the most effective way to keep in-school COVID-19 transmission low is to make sure teacher/staff break rooms are safe, along with enforcing: masks, physical distancing, small and stable groups, hand hygiene, ventilation, screening for symptoms or close contact, and asymptomatic testing. 

Newsom pledged to allocate $2 billion in state aid for schools to implement testing, ventilation and personal protective equipment.

The state’s plan prioritizes elementary school students in kindergarten-2nd grade for returning to classrooms.

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