Bay Area Health Officers ‘100% United’ On Full Return Of In-Person Learning At Schools This Fall – CBS San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – Health officials from across the Bay Area gathered in San Francisco Thursday to express their support for the return of personal learning for all students this fall.
With most of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions lifted as California prepares to fully reopen on June 15, the gathering marked the first time all 10 Bay Area health officials have met since the pandemic began over a year ago met personally.
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Health officials are pushing for all schools and all grade levels to be reopened this fall, pointing to a significant decline in COVID-19 case numbers and hospital stays, as well as higher vaccination rates for people at increased risk and children aged 12 and over.
“We’re seeing a significant increase in all sorts of problems; Anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidality, alcohol and drug use, and a host of other chronic mental illnesses. The dates are clear. Children have to return to school. School has to start full-time, face-to-face and in full classrooms this fall, if not earlier, ”said Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County Health Officer.
“We chartered a little different routes in the course of the pandemic, it was extremely difficult. We are 100 percent in agreement on that, ”said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer. “We learned more about the science of COVID, how it spreads and how it affects our schools and communities, and we turned around when needed. And that’s why we are currently of the opinion that schools should be open to everyone. “
“We saw firsthand that the transmission rate within schools is low,” said Dr. Matthew Willis, Marin County Health Officer. “We found that children in general are more likely to be infected outside of school than they are within school.”
“This is an immense priority for all of us,” said Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco Health Officer. “It is time to leave the distance learning model behind and get back to the full range of learning and support that our educational communities offer. Bay Area health officials urge school administrators, teachers and parents to work together now to plan full classrooms for all grade levels this fall.
“The classroom environment is a very safe environment and is becoming safer as most of our older students and staff are vaccinated,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer.
Officials said if schools fully reopen they will still have to follow guidelines from the California Department of Health and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that require masks for all K-12 students.
While most of the state’s public elementary schools have reopened in recent months, most middle and high schools remain closed for full-time personal learning.
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