COVID-19 School Closure Update May 27, 2020

The County School Superintendents Group met again today with Dr. Lisa Santora the Marin County Deputy Public Health Officer and discussed some important new developments in the state and county’s response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

(Most of our earlier guidance remains in place so I will use this update to share information that is new as of today.)

  • The state plans to release further guidance to county health officers to help guide their decisions as appropriate to their communities. We anticipate that recommendations and orders will remain in the hands of our local experts, who will share information with us when they get it. 
  • We expect to have clear information on student cohort recommendations and school openings around June 18. That is good news as it may enable us to act on contingency plans we are developing. 
  • Local school district leaders continue to advocate for the largest possible student cohorts when schools re-open. If possible under the conditions, we hope to see sized very close to what would be normal if school were in session. 
  • Marin County due to its demographics and the progress of the pandemic is likely to lag behind other counties in re-opening various services. 
  • COVID 19 testing has become much more widely available and testing county wide is up significantly. We are encouraging community members and staff to get tested. 
  • We will probably ask all staff to get tested before returning to work and then to be re-tested on a schedule recommended by Public Health. 
  • Protocols for responses to positive tests/ infections & exposure are being developed for use in Marin’s schools. 
  • Large gatherings typical in schools will not be permitted in Marin this fall. You may see such gatherings outside of Marin. 
  • An article in the respected medical journal The Lancet shows that there is no evidence that school closures have been as effective as social (physical) distancing measures in flattening the curve.
  • There is no change to graduation guidance from Public Health. (I asked specifically about the requirement that student wear masks if they leave vehicles to receive their diplomas.)
  • Marin reached its highest level of COVID- related Emergency Room visits this past week.

As always, please visit the Health Department’s COVID-19 page for the latest information about the pandemic: https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org

As you consider this information, please wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Thanks again for your patience with your kids and other members of our community as we go through this challenging time.

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

Marcus Aurelius