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Approved Schools May Return to In-Person Instruction

Riverside County’s adjusted case rate for new COVID-19 cases dropped below a threshold that will allow transitional kindergarten through sixth grade education to reopen in accordance with the state’s framework.

Today marked the milestone for Riverside County’s adjusted countywide daily COVID-19 cases of less than 25 per 100,000 residents.

In accordance with the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) reopening framework and, as Riverside County remains in the state’s purple tier, county schools and districts with approved COVID-19 prevention plans and checklists may reopen for the transitional kindergarten classrooms through sixth grade education.

“The pandemic has had a major impact on education, like everything else, and as case rates currently continue to decline we can start getting more kids back in class,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County’s public health officer. “But this can’t be without safety precautions or monitoring. Our districts and schools are committed to operating safely, and so am I.”

Four school districts already have safety-plan approvals from the county and state approval is anticipated.

The four districts with the approvals include one in the far eastern area of the county, a western county district, one in the Coachella Valley and one in the southwest. They are: Corona-Norco Unified School District, the Palo Verde Valley Unified School District, Desert Sands Unified School District and Murrieta Valley Unified School District. Parents within these districts should check with their school or district for more information on returning to in-person learning.

A county schools team, including Dr. Kaiser, continues to review other districts’ safety plans expeditiously along with state review.

“It has been a very difficult year for our teachers, students and parents. So many have been waiting for a return to in-person learning,” said Board Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “This is an important day for our students and entire education community.”

Schools previously open for transitional kindergarten through sixth grade education under the earlier waiver process remain in operation, as do those schools that opened for all grade levels during the county’s brief period in the state’s red tier framework, Dr. Kaiser said.