With Santa Barbara County’s adjusted case rate at 16.9 and testing positivity at 6%, schools serving TK through sixth grade are now allowed to reopen for in-person learning, effective Feb. 24. Schools must have an approved safety plan. As local metrics continue to trend downward, the need for more testing could improve the weekly adjusted case rate leading to further reopening in the near future.

The step forward for TK-6 requires close watch of the safety guidelines for children.  Parents and schools will need to ensure daily screening of kids, keeping them home when not feeling well, limiting gathering with people outside of their households, maintaining social distancing outside of their home, wearing face coverings, and following isolation and quarantine guidance when a family member or close contact tests positive. 

“Covid-19 is largely transmitted in the community and not in a TK-6 school setting,” said the county’s Public Health Department Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg, “When everyone does their part to follow the safety guidelines and protocols, our children can return to school in a safe environment for themselves and for school staff.” 

While the county’s positive case rates play a key role, testing volume must also remain high, to move the county to the Red Tier and further. Community testing sites are available throughout the county. Many sites are open until 7 p.m., allow walk-ins and have no wait times. Turnaround times for tests have also decreased.  More information on testing locations can be found at publichealthsbc.org/testing.

For information about the Covid-19 vaccine, visit publichealthsbc.org/vaccine or reach the County Call Center for vaccine information by calling 2-1-1 and selecting option 4. This line is available seven days a week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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