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Elementary Schools In San Bernardino County Cleared To Reopen

Benjamin Purper

Elementary schools in San Bernardino County have been cleared to reopen starting Monday, if they want to and have a reopening plan. 

The clearance comes after the county’s adjusted case rate numbers dipped to a certain level.

The number of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, adjusted for the amount of people tested in the county, has been below 25 for five consecutive days.

Neighboring Riverside County hasn’t met that same threshold, but their case numbers are also improving.

In addition to public schools, private elementary schools like those within the San Bernardino Catholic Diocese can now re-open as well.

Spokesperson John Andrews says the dioceses’ 12 elementary schools in San Bernardino County will be open on Monday, Feb. 22. Kindergarteners will be the first to arrive on campus that day, followed by first and second graders on the 24th and third through sixth graders back on March 1.

Andrews says based on a survey conducted by the diocese, most families are expected to send their children to school in-person, rather than continue online, which is also an option to those who feel uncomfortable with in-person learning.

“The results of the survey were that a majority of families did in fact want to come back to the campus as long as there were safety protocols in place. So, if you look at the survey as any indication, I would say it would be a minority of school families that would be not wanting to send their kids back. But that’s just based on the survey," Andrew says.

Safety measures taken at all reopened schools in the diocese will include morning temperature checks, mandatory hand sanitizing, mandatory wearing of face coverings, and no movement of classes – meaning students and teachers will remain in the same cohort throughout the day.

These measures apply to all students, faculty and staff.

“I think it’ll be familiar in a good way for the kids and the parents and the teachers to be together on campus, but we are very intent on having health and safety precautions followed on campus so that we can do everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus on campuses," Andrews says.

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