May 27, 2020 at 9:39 pm PDT | by Brody Levesque
COVID-19 Daily; LA County plans schools reopening as U.S. passes 100,000 pandemic Deaths

LOS ANGELESThe Los Angeles County Office of Education released its plan Wednesday offering the framework of guidance for educators and administrators in the nation’s second largest schools systems to reopen for the impending 2020-2021 school year.

A spokesperson for Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo said that the 43 page document was intended as guidance and recommendations for use by schools staff but added that each school will be allowed to carefully consider and implement measures that best fit the unique situation individually. The spokesperson noted that the guidance would also comply with the Health Orders, guidance, and directives issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The document was created by a task force made up of superintendents and leadership staff from across the county’s 80 school districts, which are responsible for the education of about 2 million students.

A statewide guideline for schools is planned to be released in June, a spokesperson for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction of California Tony Thurmond told the Los Angeles Blade Wednesday afternoon.

The Los Angeles County Office of Education broke down its recommendations for conditions for three modes of learning: face-to-face, in which faculty/staff instructors teach students in a classroom with social distancing and safety measures in place; online learning, in which students continue to learn at home or other safe space; and hybrid learning, a combination of both.

A schools return to in-classroom learning is conditional upon:

Control of interactions, including at entrances, exits and hallways

Health and cleaning protocols, including temperature checks, personal protective equipment such as facial coverings, sanitation and hand-washing

Adequate staff to monitor health and implement safety protocols

Accommodation of physical distancing requirements

School transportation services, including for students with special needs

Nutrition services while meeting food safety and physical distancing requirements

For campuses that open, the task force suggests staff and students wear facial coverings, and that schools ensure adequate supply for all.

Health office staff should also be trained and equipped with necessary personal protective equipment.

Schools should establish a pool of substitute health personnel, and identify timelines of home isolation for staff and students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

[Click here for the full set of recommendations.]

The United States passed a grim mark Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic has reached 100,000 Americans who have died.

Globally, the virus has infected more than 5.6 million people and killed over 350,000, with the U.S. having the most confirmed cases and deaths by far, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Europe has recorded about 170,000 deaths, while the U.S. reached more than 100,000 in less than four months the Associated Press reported.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, issued a warning after watching video of Memorial Day crowds gathered at a pool party in Missouri.

We have a situation in which you see that type of crowding with no mask and people interacting. That’s not prudent, and that’s inviting a situation that could get out of control,” he said during an interview Wednesday on CNN. “Don’t start leapfrogging some of the recommendations in the guidelines because that’s really tempting fate and asking for trouble.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) confirmed 53 new deaths and 933 new cases of COVID-19. Two deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach. To date, LACDPH has identified 48,700 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 2,195 deaths.

While officials struggle with testing and adequate health concerns as the state’s ecomony slowly starts a phased reopening, KTLA reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday said his administration will release guidelines “in a week or so” for allowing gyms, yoga studios and other fitness facilities to reopen, though stringent safeguards will need to be adopted to protect customers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsom cautioned that the state directives will be tailored to the unique characteristics of each business, from large fitness chains to small studios, and will rely heavily on the advice of public health officials in each county.

The City of West Hollywood announced Wednesday that the tennis courts at West Hollywood Park and Plummer Park to reopen, subject to compliance with Tennis Reopening Guidelines established by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The tennis courts at Plummer Park and West Hollywood Park are accessible without obtaining access to main park areas, which remain closed at this time. In addition, dog parks and parklets in the City remain closed at this time.

For further information including mandated guidelines and Tennis reservations residents can go online to www.itennisweho.com.

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