Handbook for Reopening Schools

Maxwell de Voogdt, Staff Writer

As the COVID-19 Pandemic lurches on the question still remains, when will school begin reopening? The first date that Long Beach Unified could reopen is January 28, but it seems that reopening is leagues away. 

The Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Jill Baker is in charge of the reopening plan, and along with the school board will make the decision, when and how to reopen.

Los Angeles County has had more than 290,107. Long Beach has had 12,805 documented cases. Worse yet the city has had 255 deaths. 

The severity of COVID-19 in regards to counties within California is measured by tiers, purple being the highest, yellow being the lowest. Currently, Long Beach in addition to all of Los Angeles County is in the purple tier. In order to reopen  schools the area must reach the red tier, a tier below purple. Additionally, the county must stay in that tier for a total of 14 days. In a video message from Superintendent Jill Baker on Sept 10, she stated that Long Beach Unified Schools District is still on the state’s watchlist. 

“This means that Long Beach Unified is still not authorized to consider the opening of schools for in person learning” Baker explained. She proceeds to describe what parameters need to be met in order to remove ourselves from the watch list. 

Those parameters being:

  • The county must show that fewer than 100 people per 100,000 have tested positive for the virus.
  • The rate at which people test positive for the virus must be below 8%.
  • The number of people hospitalized must not climb more than 10 percent over a three-day period.
  • More than 205 of intensive care beds in hospitals and 25% of ventilators have to be available.

According to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, Wilson High School’s zip code (90804) has 2,711 cases per 100k people. That is a whopping 2,611 cases above the benchmark. That number only pertains to one zip code in the Long Beach area. That doesn’t count the 10 other counties within Long Beach.

Will students be able to go back to school in January? Will the district extend online learning once again? Questions only answerable by the passage of time.