Redwood City, CA—Seven Bay Area county health officers, in collaboration with their six county superintendents of schools have made a unified, regional decision to extend school closures and student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in these six counties.
Building on the regional coordination the Bay Area jurisdictions took on March 16, 2020 in issuing Health Officer orders requiring all residents to shelter in place, the following Bay Area county agencies have been working together over the last several weeks to align strategies and practices during this unprecedented time for public education:
- Alameda County Office of Education
- Contra Costa County Office of Education
- Marin County Office of Education
- San Francisco Unified School District
- San Mateo County Office of Education
- Santa Clara County Office of Education
- City Health Officer, Berkeley, within Alameda County
With the support and collaboration of the Public Health Officers in the respective counties, the County Superintendents of Schools recognized the need to extend the period of school closures and student dismissals through May 1, 2020. School facilities may remain open to staff for the purposes of performing tasks deemed essential by the school district and county offices of education. Education will continue through flexible learning, meals will continue to be provided and, where possible, childcare may be arranged.
During this time, residents are expected to adhere to the “Shelter in Place” Orders issued by the Public Health Officers on March 16 and stay home except for essential activities until further notification from their local health department.
In addition, all residents are urged to keep practicing the guidance provided by Public Health Officers including:
- Social distancing
- Washing hands often with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Staying home if you are feeling sick
- Contacting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- Engage in regular exercise or physical activity
The regional connections across our most populous counties in the Bay Area require a coordinated approach. County Offices of Education will continue to work in close partnership with local health departments and local school districts to support the children, parents, and essential workforce of the Bay Area.
“Working together to address a virus that respects no boundaries is the right approach,” explained San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee. “San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow and I commend our colleagues across the Bay Area for their commitment not only to public safety but to continuing learning opportunities for students during this challenging time. We also commend our community for taking all possible steps to slow the virus’ spread."
The San Mateo County Office of Education is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in education by inspiring students, investing in teachers, invigorating leaders, and involving communities.