The OECD continues to monitor the latest developments related to COVID-19, following guidelines from the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency. Below is our current summary, with more recent stories posted at the top. The most recent guidelines from the California Department of Public Health, effective Friday, July 1, include updated considerations and mitigation strategies that are broken down into required actions and recommended actions. The latest Public Health Guidance on COVID-19 for K-12 Schools can be found on the CDPH website.
A day earlier, on June 18, the U.S. UU. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they recommended that children 6 months and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. Approximately 20 million more children are now eligible to receive the vaccine, according to the CDC. A partnership between the agency's Division of Public Health Services and Children's Health of Orange County will authorize certain CHOC locations to offer immunization services to young children once they receive new vaccine shipments.
Young children who are now eligible for the vaccine will be given a smaller amount of the dose than teens and adults. Parents and legal guardians will be able to locate vaccination centers for their children and book appointments at www, vaccines, gov. They can also speed up the availability process by consulting with their pharmacy and primary care providers. Gavin Newsom previously announced plans to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccines for K-12 students, the state said with full U.S.
The Food and Drug Administration was a precondition for starting the process. Once vaccines are fully approved for students under 16, CDPH officials say they will consider U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians before implementing a requirement. Beginning March 12, local health agencies and school districts will have the authority to decide whether to maintain or establish masking requirements for their K-12 schools, according to the California Department of Public Health.
In a memorandum dated March 7, CDPH affirmed that authority and recommended that local health and education officials work together and weigh several factors in determining whether a face covering requirement is warranted. Considerations should include local case numbers, evidence suggesting increased transmission at school, vaccination rates, indoor air quality, availability of personal protective equipment, higher-risk populations, staffing levels, and other factors. Following California's New Indoor Masking Guidance, Governor. Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order aligning workplace safety standards for unvaccinated school employees and other workers.
Under changes to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Regulations, the state will not require educators and support staff working in K-12 school settings to wear masks while indoors after March 11, regardless of their vaccination status. However, masking will continue to be a strong recommendation. In addition, local jurisdictions or employers may continue to require face coverings. CDPH says masks will continue to be needed for everyone in “high transmission” settings, including public transportation, emergency shelters, healthcare settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and long-term care facilities.
California indoor masking order for schools will be reduced to a strong recommendation starting March 12, state officials announced today. In a joint press release, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington cited declining case and hospitalization rates as the basis for easing face covering requirements for students and staff on public and private school campuses. New Guidance Also Applies to Child Care Settings. The OECD newsroom has the full story.
California will spend two weeks evaluating COVID-19 data and conditions before making a determination on the future of masks in schools, the state's top health official said Monday. During an afternoon news conference, California Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly did not identify a specific threshold to lift the requirement. But, he said, the state will reevaluate case rates, testing positivity percentages, hospitalizations, pediatric hospitalizations and vaccine rates and, in February.
But the mandate will remain in place for unvaccinated people, and indoor mask wearing rules will continue to apply to schools, child care centers, health care centers, long-term care centers and prisons. Meanwhile, the California Department of Public Health continues to recommend established precautions that, when taken together, close almost all routes of COVID-19 infection. These include avoiding large gatherings, improving indoor ventilation, washing hands, wearing a mask in public, getting vaccinated, and receiving reinforcements when eligible. Based on these trends, a coalition of Orange County superintendents released a statement Friday requesting the governor and CDPH to announce criteria and timeline for easing school masking requirements and other COVID-19 protocols.
They noted that all school districts are legally required to follow public health directives set by the Governor, CDPH and the OC Health Care Agency. Actions to the contrary risk school closures. Ghaly said it is reasonable to conclude that the state is approaching a point where masking requirements can be relaxed in schools, but the next steps will involve analyzing the data and announcing a date. He added that some communities may choose to maintain more restrictive precautions depending on local conditions.
A coalition of Orange County superintendents released a statement Friday asking the governor. Gavin Newsom and California Department of Public Health to Announce Criteria to Ease School Masking Requirements and Other COVID-19 Protocols Based on Countywide Health Data. Superintendents noted that they have been in discussions with the OC Health Care Agency and County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau, who, in his own Feb.
California to allow its sweeping mask mandate for indoor public spaces to expire in February. In December, amid the first reports of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, the California Department of Public Health announced that temporary use of masks would be required in all closed public settings, regardless of vaccination status. While the state order was originally scheduled to expire after Jan. Gavin Newsom shared Monday that the broader public masking requirement will expire next week, and said COVID-19 cases have dropped 65 percent since the Omicron peak.
But unvaccinated people will still need to cover their faces indoors, and will be mandatory for everyone in higher-risk environments, such as nursing homes or when using public transportation. Some counties have also implemented stricter mask orders. Meanwhile, the state also announced changes to its guidance for major events. However, California has not yet identified a date or metric to facilitate masking requirements in schools and other protocols.
Amid signs that the Omicron variant may be declining locally, the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration granted full approval of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 and older this week. To help school districts cope with staff shortages during the latest COVID-19 surge, around 100 managers from the OECD Education Services division have been deployed to local campuses this month. His duties have included working with students in classrooms, assisting with contact tracing, and performing other tasks necessary for school operations.
Christine Olmstead, associate superintendent of Education Services at OECD, said her team members began their temporary assignments last week and have since reported to work in all 28 school districts in the county. Several campuses posted messages of gratitude on their social media accounts. Some staff members and students even wrote thank you cards and notes. Julie Roney, OECD STEM coordinator who has assisted in several classrooms in the Orange Unified School District, said the highlight has been seeing the appreciation of students and staff.
After receiving COVID-19 test kits at home, OECD has received more than 1.7 million N95 masks from the state. Initially characterized as a 10-day supply, N95 mask inventory represents less than 25 percent of what has been committed by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). However, available masks are made available to school districts and charter schools across the county for collection and distribution to their students and staff. As with test kits, districts and schools will have the discretion to determine how best to manage and dispense their available supplies.
N95 masks are tight-fitting respirators that, when used correctly, filter at least 95 percent of airborne particulates, including large and small particles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers users a higher level of protection against COVID-19 compared to cloth face coverings or surgical masks. Wearing face coverings has been a requirement this school year for students and staff who are indoors on school campuses. In addition, state health officials reinstated in December a wide-mask mandate for all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
But the type of mask is still an individual preference, provided that it effectively covers the mouth and nose. While Public Health Experts Recommend N95 Masks, They're Still A Voluntary Option. In addition, they are not compatible with smaller children depending on their size and may not achieve a proper fit for users with facial hair. OECD has been notified that a smaller shipment of child-size masks is also expected this weekend.
Under the first model, TK-12 students exposed in public and private schools would follow standard isolation and self-quarantine protocols. This includes a modified quarantine option to continue in-person teaching if both students were wearing masks and the exposed student does not develop symptoms, continues to wear a tight-fitting mask, undergoes COVID-19 tests at least twice during the five-day quarantine period, and refrains from extracurricular activities, including sports. The California Department of Public Health updated its COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schools late Wednesday with revised quarantine recommendations and a modified approach to contact tracing. The previous directives, including guidelines for mask use, ventilation and hygiene, are still in effect and can be found in the latest publication of the COVID-19 Public Health Guide for K-12 Schools.
State health officials noted that California's multi-level approach to COVID-19 mitigation has proven effective. This week, Gavin Newsom signed an executive order aimed at giving schools more flexibility when it comes to short-term staffing for in-person learning. The order, which takes effect immediately and expires in March. In related news, the OECD has asked about 100 managers within its Education Services division to help provide support to local schools suffering from staff shortages.
Their duties could include working in classrooms, assisting with contact tracing, or performing other tasks necessary for school operations. Separately, the state also indicated that it will send personal protective equipment to school communities through county education offices, including supplies of N95 masks. A new shipment of COVID-19 antigen tests at home arrived at the OECD on Tuesday for distribution to local schools. Two trucks dispatched by the California Department of Public Health delivered 256,420 iHealth COVID-19 antigen rapid test kits as part of the state's winter campaign to get COVID-19 tests to the homes of all public school students.
Representatives from Orange County's 28 independent school districts and dozens of charter schools were contacted Tuesday to inform them that supplies were ready to be picked up. Each district and charter school has determined its own process for distributing its test kits to local families. Separately, the state has also indicated that it will send personal protective equipment to school communities through county education offices, including supplies of N95 masks. With case counts rising to never-before-seen levels, the OC Health Care Agency confirmed the third COVID-related pediatric death in Orange County this week.
The agency said that a child under the age of 5 died in December from complications related to a COVID-19 infection. Driven by the highly contagious variant of Omicron, the positivity rate also increased from 6.5 to 16.2 percent, hospitalizations increased from 453 to 673, and ICU admissions were up to 114 per day. The HCA noted that 87 percent of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 are not vaccinated. The most important step local residents can take, he said, is “get vaccinated and boosted to maximize their immunity to COVID-19 and reduce their likelihood of becoming seriously infected.”.
Health officials emphasized that people without symptoms, or who have mild symptoms and have a low risk of serious illness, should not go to the hospital or emergency room for screening. Hospitals focus on people who are sick and need urgent care. New guidance from the California Department of Public Health will lower the threshold for what is considered a “mega-event,” a designation that triggers additional safety protocols. The above definition, which expires in January.
For indoor mega-events, such as conventions, conferences, and sporting events, attendees must show full vaccination status verification or a negative COVID-19 test result before entering, and all guests must comply with the latest CDPH guidelines for face covering. For outdoor mega-events, such as food festivals, concerts and outdoor parades, attendees are strongly encouraged to check full vaccination status or a negative pre-entry COVID test result, who must also comply with mask mandates. Under the new guidance that comes into effect in January. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, the statewide average COVID-19 case rate for seven days increased by 410 percent, and the number of hospitalized patients increased by 63 percent, according to CDPH.
The most recent guidance on mega-events can be found on the California Department of Public Health website. Three large trucks carrying rapid COVID-19 antigen tests from the California Department of Public Health arrived at OECD offices Wednesday morning, but additional shipments will be needed to cover all Orange County students. The OECD was following up with state health officials to determine why it received less than half of the kits that were committed and when additional shipments will arrive. Meanwhile, as some other counties reported similar problems, department staff were working to get available tests distributed to local districts and schools as soon as possible, reviewing immediate allocations based on available inventory.
Schools and local districts will notify their families when student test kits are ready to be picked up. There have been some questions about local, state, and federal quarantine and isolation guidelines and what rules apply to local schools. The most important conclusion is that isolation periods have been reduced for some people to five days, in line with CDC recommendations. This also applies to K-12 students when certain conditions are met.
The county order says that people are considered to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine if they have completed a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and have received a booster shot or if they are not yet recommended to receive a booster dose according to current CDC guidelines. With most students returning from winter break Monday amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, OC schools are taking a number of steps to reduce transmission on campus, from enforcing state mask mandates and quarantine protocols to tracking new cases and inform close contacts. As we shared earlier, public schools also expect to receive up to two rapid COVID-19 antigen tests from the state for each student. The idea is that families have the opportunity to pick up the kits and test their children at home.
Beginning Sunday afternoon, supplies were said to be on their way to the Orange County Department of Education, where they would be sorted and picked up by district staff. Locally elected school boards and district superintendents are responsible for approving and implementing school safety plans with input from their stakeholders, and specific measures may vary from district to district. However, all plans must meet or exceed the standards set by the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency. Al MijaresCoronavirusCOVID-19COVID19OCDEOrange County Department of Education Orange County Department of Education Al Mijares, Ph, D.
This is how the four-level color-coded grading system works in California. California is loosening its tiering guidelines, allowing more counties to start opening up. These changes come as the state considers how evenly vaccine distribution goes when deciding how much counties should be allowed to reopen. In short, as California administers more vaccines for the zip codes most affected by the pandemic, it will be a little easier for counties to move to less restrictive levels.
The four levels are yellow, orange, red and purple. Yellow indicates minimal spread of COVID-19 and allows nearly all businesses to reopen indoor operations (provided physical distancing and face covering requirements are met). Purple means there is widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the county. In the early stages of the four-tier system, virtually all non-essential businesses had to close at the purple level.
Nowadays, much more is allowed with limited capacity. See below for more information. Get the latest news, info and videos on the novel coronavirus pandemic here William Shatner accidentally leaves his wallet at Gilroy fruit stand Birthday source of mysterious sound that “plagues” Richmond What are the odds of winning the massive Mega Millions jackpot?. One of the most important changes involves bars, which on the orange level could only serve customers outdoors, unless they served food.
According to the OC Health Care Agency, the average seven-day case rate in Orange County dropped from 177 to 126 per 100,000 people between January. In another milestone for the reopening of Southern California's economy, Orange County is now a surprising distance from its wider reopening, according to the four-tier, color-coded state plan. Individuals who work or live in Orange County have at-home COVID-19 testing and self-collection kits available at no cost. Since the beginning of this public health crisis, Orange County superintendents have been lucid and united around the goal of providing safe, welcoming and equitable learning environments for students.
Counties that made moves on the reopening roadmap Tuesday included Mono and San Mateo, which went from orange to yellow, and Madera, which went from red to orange. Counties must have an adjusted daily rate of less than 2 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 residents two weeks in a row to qualify for the yellow tier. Events and live performances seated indoors in high-capacity venues with seating for more than 1500 guests can reach 10% capacity or 2000 guests, whichever is less, but if everyone has a negative test result or has proof of full vaccination, the limit can increase to 50%, in compared to 35% on the orange level. The guidance, which went into effect immediately, is similar to the health order recently issued by the Orange County Health Care Agency.