LA County elementary schools are now allowed to reopen. Are high schools to follow?

Janira Hernandez, Photo editor

On Tuesday February 16, 2021, it was announced that Los Angeles County Elementary schools will be allowed to re-open for in-person-learning effective immediately. With COVID-19 cases at a rate of “ 25 per 100,000”, according to a CNN article, the state then allowed for elementary schools to reopen safely. 

This implementation however does have rules and regulations. In order for schools to be eligible to re-open, plans will have to be submitted to the county public health department and California Public Health Department. The article also states that last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for the reopening of schools. Some of  those guidelines include that masks are to be worn at all time, hands must be constantly washed, well cleaned facilities and better ventilation, and contact tracing (isolation and quarantine when one becomes ill). 

To continue on to the fact that L.A. County Elementary Schools are now allowed to reopen, the Long Beach Unified School District announced they will be opening their schools from grades K-5. This decision was also made on Tuesday February 16, 2021. In a Long Beach Post article, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia says,  “We have provided LBUSD with enough vaccine appointments to vaccinate all K-2 teachers and staff. I believe those appointments will go out later today. And yes, teachers and staff should be vaccinated with both doses before campus re-openings,” The article states that perhaps not all LBUSD K-2 teachers may be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine by next week. The results of opening up LBUSD k-5 schools are unclear at the time. 

Overall, it may take some time for elementary schools to fulfill the process of reopening safely. Although some LA County school districts might decide to reopen, it will take said schools quite a while to reopen since the school staff needs to be vaccinated. The issue of teacher unions agreeing to go back to campuses without assurances of being vaccinated is also an unresolved issue. The creation of  sanitary plans for schools must also be presented to the county for approval so delays can be expected.