County sets guidelines for school reopenings

Cupertino High School opens new classrooms and science buildings

County public health officials released new guidelines Tuesday as schools prepare to reopen for students in August.

It followed information and outreach efforts by San Jose Unified officials, as departments adjust to the COVID-19 learning environment.

The 23 pages of new guidelines are a joint effort by Public Health and Office of Education officials. It details specific actions required for in-person instruction, student movement, buses, hygiene, food service, and recreation.

“We need everyone in the community to strictly follow social distancing now so that children and teachers can safely return to school in the fall,” said County of Santa Clara Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody.

Officials seemed optimistic about schools reopening in some form, though flexibility will be essential.

“This fall, while there is no doubt learning environments at schools will look different, our determination to provide students with quality education remains steadfast,” said County Superintendent Dr. Mary Ann Dewan.

The guidelines come as the region faces a starting rise in new COVID-19 cases and significant jumps in hospitalizations. Officials warned that the school year could be put in jeopardy if the virus is not contained.

“Schools and other institutions in our community can operate safely if they carefully follow all recommended public health practices,” Cody added.

Recommendations range from maintaining stable groups of students for elementary students to distancing and face coverings for high schools.

The guidelines also detail potential testing requirements for students, teachers, or staff who show symptoms of the virus. It also outlines steps schools should take when there is a confirmed or suspected case in their system.

To see the full set of guidelines, click here.