Riverside County elementary schools seeking to reopen in-person teaching can apply for waivers starting next week

Starting Monday, August 24, Riverside County public and elementary schools seeking to open for in-person teaching can apply for a waiver, the county announced today. Per state guidelines, waivers can only be approved for grades ranging from transitional kindergarten through sixth grade.

The state’s threshold for schools to apply for waivers allowing for in-person instruction is 200 cases per 100,000 residents. Currently, Riverside County is at 170 cases per 100,000 residents. 

“The biggest predictor of school spread is community spread, and although we’re still finding new cases of COVID-19, our case rate has dropped enough where we can consider elementary school waivers,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. 

“However, the waiver process won’t be a rubber stamp, and elementary schools will be required to publicly demonstrate they have the pieces in place to operate safely or they won’t be approved. We want exposures to be rare and, should an exposure occur, for the school to show they can handle it without putting others at risk.”

The waiver application will be reviewed by Dr. Kaiser. The county must be off the state’s watch list for 14 days before schools and school districts may reopen without a waiver.

Schools can obtain a waiver application on the RUHS-Public Health
website or by clicking here.


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