Los Angeles County schools chief recommends extending school closures until May 5 to help contain COVID-19
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo today announced her recommendation to extend closure of all public schools until Tuesday, May 5, 2020 to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
Superintendent Duardo’s action follows new public health orders issued March 19 by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles County officials instructing people to stay at home and prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.
The decision was made today in consultation with school district superintendents from across Los Angeles County and with State Superintendent Tony Thurmond.
“In the interest of public safety and the health of our children and most vulnerable community members, we are asking our 80 school districts to remain closed with students returning on May 5,” Duardo said. “School closures will help prevent transmission of the coronavirus, which is everyone’s goal today. I commend our school district leaders and their staff, students and families for all that they are doing to ensure that learning continues and that vital nutrition and meal services are provided.”
During this time, only school and district personnel who perform essential functions such as feeding children, providing childcare or ensuring business continuity are required to come to work using Los Angeles County’s guidelines outlined in its “Safer at Home” Public Health Order. The Governor has made it clear that during these closures for this public emergency, all school district personnel will be paid.
The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) recognizes the potential for schools to stay closed for the remainder of the academic year and will provide regular updates as the situation evolves. Extending a school closure is a local decision that will be made by each individual school district. When schools reopen, LACOE will provide guidance regarding required school maintenance and best ways to support staff, students and families with their return.
Schools operated by LACOE will likewise remain closed with students returning on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. They include the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, International Polytechnic High School, county community schools and Juvenile Court Schools located at the juvenile halls and camps.
Over the past two weeks, LACOE and school districts across the county have rapidly adapted to the emergency to provide remote learning, “grab-and-go" meal distribution, childcare during the school day and telecommuting. Above all, LACOE continues to recommend that everyone practices prevention and hygiene protocols, including:
- If you are sick or mildly sick for any reason, stay home. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen.
- Symptoms to watch for include a fever over 100 degrees; respiratory illness such as cough or difficulty breathing.
- Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- Stay 6 feet or more away from strangers and those who are ill.
- Stop shaking hands with others to reduce the spread of germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Sneeze and cough into a tissue or your sleeve; safely throw away used tissues.