SAN LUIS OBISPO — San Luis Obispo County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein affirmed that starting Oct. 6, San Luis Obispo County’s K-12 schools have the option to reopen for modified in-person instruction according to the criteria listed in State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

“Because we have kept our COVID-19 transmission relatively stable, we have been consistently in the red tier for two weeks now,” said Dr. Borenstein. “Local schools are not required to reopen for in-person instruction, but they may choose to reopen if they implement the State’s COVID-19 guidance for schools and school-based programs.”

According to the State of California, schools can reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the red tier for at least two weeks. Oct. 6 was the two-week mark for SLO County. Before reopening, local schools must submit a plan for modified in-person instruction to the County Health Officer for review and consultation. Schools must follow the State’s guidelines when they reopen.

According to the State’s School Reopening Framework, schools that open during this time are not required to close if SLO County moves back to the purple tier — which is the first and most restrictive tier — but should consider increasing screening and testing staff.

The County Public Health Department continues to work closely with the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education and local districts for opening local schools safely. County Office of Education officials convey that many local districts decided to stay closed through the end of the calendar year, but some may reopen with approved reopening plans by County Public Health officials.

Anyone with questions for the Office of Education or local schools may visit www.slocoe.org/covid-19-information-resources.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at 805-543-2444 is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with COVID-19 questions.

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