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Scott Steepleton, Editor
9:14 am PST February 16, 2021

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is expected to release new school reopening guidelines today as the county reaches a case-rate level that the state of California says is permissible for reopening.

Officials say L.A. County today reached a case rate of 25 per 100,000 — the rate at which the state will permit schools to reopen — for five consecutive days.

“This encouraging news means that dozens of elementary schools will be permitted to reopen for in-class instruction for students grades TK-6 as early as this week,” according to the announcement.

Schools that wish to reopen must submit plans to the County Department of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health “certifying that they have implemented a full range of safety measures to permit a safe reopening.”

First District Supervisor Hilda Solis welcomed the news, noting in the year since online learning began, students have been separated from friends, with some suffering “stunted academics and social development.”

“Some students have dropped out entirely,” Solis said. “The digital divide has only expand the learning gap between those who have access (to technology) and those who don’t.”

A tentative pact between the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and its teachers union calls for reopening when, among other things, the case rate of 25 per 100,000 people lasts at least five days.

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