BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As Kern County enters it’s first full day in the state’s red tier, businesses such as restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms are set to resume limited indoor operations, but parents looking to send their children back to classroom will have to wait a few more weeks.
After a painstaking week of waiting, Kern’s director of public health Matt Constantine gave the county a collective sigh of relief Monday morning.
“Kern County will be moving into the red Tier or Tier two as of today,” he said.
We have finally for two weeks in a row, met the state’s metrics for the less restrictive red tier.
While addressing the Board of Supervisors, he outlined the new ground rules under red, including the process for schools to reopen after additional two week waiting period.
“Schools, if they choose can decide to open up two weeks from today. As long as they follow those modifications so that now gives them the ability to make a decision on how they would like to proceed.”
Those modifications include state mandated guidelines on mask-wearing, distance between students, increased sanitation, and regular testing of employees.
According to Constantine, It is up to each individual district to decide when and how they will reopen.
“They can open up as a hybrid. They can open up completely. They can choose to remain distance learning, which we’ve heard that some will continue to do that.”
The move to red allows schools to reopen and stay open, even if the county metrics take a turn for the worse.
“Schools have a special provision in the state’s documents that allows them to remain open, even if the county as a whole reverts back to tier one, or that purple tier.”
He also said several restrictions remain on extracurricular activities such as sporting events. Meaning that come Oct. 28 your child could be off the computer and back in the classroom for the foreseeable future.
In statement following the announcement, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office said in making their reopening plans, local districts will prioritize students who are most vulnerable to learning loss including students with disabilities, English learners, and foster and homeless students.