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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Neetu Balram January 28, 2021 Public Information Manager Alameda County Public Health Department

[email protected]

Alameda County Health Officials Align with State Guidance for School Reopening

ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA – The State of California updated its COVID-19 reopening in-person instruction framework and public health guidance for K-12 schools on January 14, 2021. As the winter surge recedes, more schools will be permitted to reopen, and this guidance will help schools operate safely.

Alameda County is currently in the Purple Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Under the State’s updated school guidance, all schools that intend to open and all schools that are already open must complete and publicly post their COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP). The CSP consists of two components required by the state: 1) the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Plan (CPP) and 2) the COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist.

“Schools that implement the State’s COVID-19 public health guidance are in a good position to safely welcome back staff and students for in-classroom instruction,” said Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County Health Officer. “Schools and school districts have been preparing for the return of in-classroom learning for months and with the number of daily new cases on the decline in Alameda County, schools should submit their CSPs as soon as they determine they are ready to reopen classrooms.”

While Alameda County is in the State’s Purple Tier, only grades TK-6 are permitted to open once the County’s daily adjusted case rate has been below 25 cases per 100,000 population for five consecutive days. Grades 7-12 that are not yet open are not permitted to open in Purple Tier counties per the State’s framework. Once Alameda County has been in the Red Tier for five days, grades 7-12 will be permitted to open. A CSP must be posted publicly for any K-12 schools for five days prior to resuming in-person instruction.

The Alameda County Public Health Department also strongly recommends schools and school districts develop and publicly post reopening plans that more comprehensively address detailed COVID-19 safety measures for their facilities including: staff training and education; stable groups/cohorts; movement within the school, use of face coverings; health screenings; healthy hygiene practices; identifying and reporting of cases and contact tracing; and physical distancing.

These reopening plans could be used to better inform staff, students, adult care givers and the community of the steps schools are taking to plan for the return to in-classroom instruction. For public school districts, the Alameda County Office of Education will require submission of these plans before opening.

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Per the State’s updated framework, schools that are already open for in-person learning must complete and publicly post state-required COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP) by February 1, 2021. In addition, the Alameda County Public Health Department is requesting that schools submit their CSP to the County Public Health Department through this form by February 1, 2021.

Per the State’s updated framework, schools or school districts that have not yet opened their TK-6th grade classrooms for in-person learning and plan to do so in the Purple Tier must:

  • Complete and post a CSP to their website homepage
  • Submit the CSP to their local health department AND the State Safe Schools for All Team at least 7

    business days before opening.
    o Submissions to the State may be sent to [email protected]
    o Submit CSP to the Alameda County Public Health Department through this form o Questions for the Alameda County Public Health Department can be emailed to

    [email protected]

    For TK-6 schools intending to open in the Purple Tier, if the school or school district does not receive notification from the State or the local public health department of a finding that the CSP is deficient within 7 business days of submission, they are permitted to open once the County daily adjusted case rate falls below 25 cases per 100,000 population for five consecutive days per State restrictions. Alameda County’s daily adjusted case rate per 100,000 population is 28.9 as of January 26.

    The Alameda County Public Health Department will review and approve the COVID-19 School Guidance checklist before a school may open, but no other requirements beyond what the State requires will be added at this time. This process replaces the State’s Elementary School Waiver.

    Per the State’s updated framework, TK-12 schools or school districts that have not yet opened for in- person learning and plan to do so in the Red, Orange or Yellow Tier must complete and post a CSP to their website homepage five days prior to the first day of instruction.

    For more information, please visit https://covid-19.acgov.org/schools

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