MANHATTAN BEACH, CA — Parents of school-aged children in Manhattan Beach can pretty much prepare for their kids to resume distance learning when schools open in the Fall unless Los Angeles County improves its COVID-19 statistics. In Manhattan Beach, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District and American Martyrs Catholic School plan to start school on Wednesday, August 26. Under current LA County COVID-19 stats, no school in MB would be allowed to reopen their campus for on-site learning, however, Gov. Gavin Newsom today laid out requirements under which he may make an exemption to the rule. The rule, however, appears a lofty goal for LA County, whose COVID-19 numbers continue to increase.
For any school in Los Angeles County to reopen their campus, the county will have to remain off the monitoring list [which it is currently on] for 14 consecutive days. LA County is presently on the monitoring list because "it has a positivity rate of 9 percent and case rate of 307 positive cases per 100,000 residents," according to an LA County news release. "However, testing and hospital capacity remain adequate with almost 20,000 people tested daily. Both ICU bed and ventilator capacity remain adequate with 29% of ICU beds open and 64% of ventilator capacity available." To meet the state order, LA County would need to bring its positivity rate down to 8% and have only 100 cases per 100,000 residents.
The state order does have some leeway. Superintendents may submit school district waiver requests to reopen elementary schools for approval by the local health officer but only after review of local epidemiological data and intervention strategies, and in consultation with the California Department of Public Health.
LA County is expected to issue a new Health Officer Order today to adhere to the CDPH’s directive that schools in 32 counties on the State’s monitoring list cannot resume in-person learning next month.