LA County Schools to Reopen: Students Required to Wear Face Masks

According to a plan released on Wednesday, schools in Los Angeles County are planning to reopen, requiring students to wear face masks at all times. 

A 45-page framework of school regulations

The county Office of Education released a 45-page framework that imposes severe restrictions to protect two million students countywide against the COVID-19. Hence, they mandated that every student wears a face mask and there would only be 16 students per classroom, following staggered schedules and other precautionary measures. 

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LA County Schools to Reopen: Students Required to Wear Face Masks
(Photo: unsplash/Feliphe Schiarolli)

The plan states that schools will be serving lunches in classrooms instead of letting students dine in cafeterias, and people are allowed to walk the hallways only one-way. There would also be only one ball for every student to play with alone. 

The superintendent for the county's office of education, Debra Duardo, said that their main priority is the health and safety of students, but there are some things that the children could enjoy in the past, but now they could not do.  

The Office of Education is responsible for providing services and financial oversight for the county's 80 school systems. 

Learning from home has challenges

Teachers and other school officials acknowledge that there are challenges to learning from home due to transitioning to online learning. They also know that it is critical to prepare for a return to the campus even though the schools are facing deep cuts under Gov. Gavin Newsom's proposed budget. 

Read also: Children with Disabilities are Greatly Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic

The plan was released just before the announcement that there were 933 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, which increased the county's total to 48,700, even though Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Public Health Director, said that the county is now in the recovery phase of the global health pandemic. 

Dr. Ferrer said that hospitalizations and deaths have decreased even though the number of cases increased. She also said that it is a good thing because it meant that more people are getting tested; however, their positivity rate is also down.

Some public facilities may also reopen

Dr. Ferrer also included in her announcement that multi-unit residences or are part of a homeowner association may reopen their hot tubs, pools, and saunas that included in the facilities for use. Adding to that, she also said that retail shops and churches could enable people to enter once again. 

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By Thursday or Friday, county officials are expecting an answer whether barbershops and hair salons could reopen and accommodate customers, and if restaurants are allowed to entertain dining in people, which could mean that the county is in Phase 3. 

Dr. Ferrer also said in her announcement that around 53 percent, more than half of the COVID-19 deaths in Los Angeles County are from the people living in institutional settings

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