DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) — Schools operate under different guidelines than businesses do when it comes to reopening.
State health guidelines actually allow K-6 students to resume in-person learning when infection rates come down to 25 per 100,000, three times higher than the red tier limit. Their county must be in the red tier for just five days in a row instead of the two weeks required for businesses to reopen.
Yolo County reached the school reopening criteria several weeks ago.
For instance, the Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento opened some special day classes last week but has not expanded in-person learning district-wide.
Districts are also allowed limited attendance for special needs and foster students.
Each school district decides on when and how it will reopen, even in the red tier.
The Davis Unified School District, for example, wants all its teachers to get their first and second vaccine shot before students are allowed on campus.
Mike Creedon is a part of a Davis Schools Parent Coalition fighting to reopen schools.
“We’re happy for the community in general but locally the red tier doesn’t satisfy all of the district’s self-imposed guidelines to reopen the schools,” Creedon explained.
Creedon said he is frustrated because the Yolo County public health officer has said teacher vaccinations are not necessary for schools to safely reopen.
“We’re looking at a period of two to three weeks here where we can get everyone the first dose of vaccine and have nothing go wrong with the vaccination schedule in order to do any in-person learning before the end of the academic year,” Creedon said.
The Yolo County Schools Office told Fox40 that most districts are leaning toward safety and will use a hybrid of remote and in-person instruction when they do open.
“While we’re hopeful, we’ll believe it when we see it,” Creedon said.
School boards throughout the state must also reach an agreement with teacher and labor unions before dates are set to resume in-person learning.