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Monterey County K-12 schools can consider reopening dates as county moves to red tier

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Monterey County has moved into the red tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, and the County Office of Education says that means K-12 schools can start considering reopening dates.

In the purple tier, K-6 schools could reopen for in-person learning in counties with an adjusted case rate below 25 cases per 100,000, but grades 7-12 could not return until Monterey County reached the red tier.

Schools will need to post their COVID Safety Plan, which includes the COVID Prevention Policy and School Guidance Checklist, at least 5 days before returning to in-person instruction. They will be required to follow guidelines from the California Department of Public Health, such as physical distancing.

“Schools are continuing to carefully consider the safety of students and staff as plans to return to in-person instruction are developed and will announce specific plans that meet their varied and individualized needs,” said Dr. Deneen Guss, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools. “We are thrilled to see our county finally enter the Red Tier and hope we continue to see improved COVID conditions in our communities.

Schools will also need to have distance learning options for families that are not comfortable sending students back to school.

There is a three week eligibility window to allow schools to open in case the county moves back to the purple tier. The window begins on the day the county meets the criteria for reopening and it remains open for those three weeks even if the county returns to the purple tier during that time.

The first day Monterey County will officially be considered in the red tier is Wednesday, so the window of eligibility is open until April 7. If the county is still in the red tier after that date, schools will still be eligible to reopen.

Read the full school guidance from the California Department of Public Health below.

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Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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