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San Luis Obispo school districts to apply for waiver for in-person instruction

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- San Luis Obispo County officials say local elementary schools can start applying for a waiver from the State's ban on in-person instruction on Wednesday evening.

San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools James Brescia and County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein sent a joint letter this week to local elementary school leaders letting them know how to apply for a waiver through the County Public Health Department. 

San Luis Obispo County is currently on the State's COVID-19 County Monitoring list, due to this the State has banned in-person school instruction locally.

However, the State has allowed for local health officers to grant waivers to elementary schools for in-person instruction when requested by a local superintendent. Local superindendents have to be in consultation with labor, parent and community organizations.

County officials say the waivers are issued based on the most current scientific data and a review of local epidemiological data, in consultation with California Department of Public Health, along with other public health considerations.

San Luis Obispo County must remain off the County Monitoring List for at least 14 days before broader in-person instruction may reopen. 

“We will continue to prioritize and prepare for safe in-person learning for elementary school students as provided for in the State’s guidance,” Brescia said. “We have also asked the State to allow in-person instruction to populations with special needs under certain conditions.” 

County Public Health say they will begin accepting waiver application submissions starting Wednesday from schools or school districts in accordance with the State Guidance for Schools.

The waiver requests are expected to take at least one week for review after submission. 

“COVID-related risks in schools serving elementary age students are different from the risks to staff and students in schools serving older students,” said Dr. Borenstein. “There appears to be a lower risk of child-to-child or child-to-adult transmission in children under 12 years old, and the risk of infection and serious illness in elementary school children is considered low.” 

For updates on COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County, click here.

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County

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Julia Nguyen


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