California governor: Schools may reopen as soon as July

California’s governor says school children could return to their classrooms as soon as July. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that no formal decisions have been made but an earlier school year may be necessary due to learning losses for students as schools closed to address coronavirus.

Posted: Apr 28, 2020 8:34 AM
Updated: Apr 28, 2020 12:42 PM

UPDATE: 12:41 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, 2020  — California schoolchildren could return to their classrooms as early as July though there likely will be modifications, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

No formal decisions have been made, but he acknowledged there have been “learning losses” as parents have sought to teach their kids from home. Most schools and classrooms have been closed since March, when Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Districts and families have struggled to adapt to at-home learning. Starting the new school year earlier would make up for some of that lost time, Newsom said.

But schools may look radically different than before. Newsom previously said schools may launch with staggered start times to limit the number of students in the school at one time and make changes to recess, lunch and other normal school gatherings that draw large groups of students together.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California, Gov. Gavin Newsom is considering a strategy for slowly reopening business in a state divided between rural areas with small numbers of coronarivus cases and urban areas struggling with still-rising death tolls.

Newsom on Tuesday planned to outline what it would take to ease his March stay-at-home order, which aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19 by keeping most people at home and closing all but essential businesses.

Health officials have said the efforts have helped flatten the curve of the virus outbreak but they also have caused massive unemployment and economic upheaval.

On Monday, Newsom said the state is “a few weeks away, not months away” from making “meaningful changes” in the order. It was his most optimistic timeline yet, though he didn’t specify what “meaningful” meant.

Still, it was a dramatic shift from just three weeks ago, when Newsom and top health officials were projecting a need for at least 50,000 additional hospital beds for a mid-May surge in cases. That wave hasn’t materialized. Hospitals have ample bed space and for the last week the numbers of hospitalizations and intensive care unit patients has remained relatively steady.

Those are key statistics for Newsom as he gauges when and how to reopen the state.

Newsom said he will consider different needs based on the types of businesses and where they are located. He and other governors are working together on guidelines for restarting their economies. Colorado and Nevada on Monday joined the Western States Pact that also includes Washington and Oregon.

While polls show most people support keeping social distancing restrictions in place for as long as necessary, there have been small but vociferous public protests and also growing calls among businesses and local lawmakers for a cautious path to reopening.

Newsom and others have warned against reopening stores, dine-in restaurants and other businesses unless they have strict social distancing measures in order to prevent a new surge of the virus. Health experts say lifting restrictions should come only when there are enough testing programs, medical supplies and protections to ensure it is done safely.

But Newsom will have to juggle a state with a split personality. Some rural counties are ready to move ahead while large cities and counties are wary.

Last week, six rural counties northeast of San Francisco — Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Colusa, Tehama and Glenn —- and 14 of their small cities sent a letter asking the governor to allow them to implement “a careful and phased reopening of our local economies.”

The counties, with a population of about 500,000 people, have seen fewer than 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases and only a handful of deaths.

The letter also was signed by the region’s two Republican state lawmakers, Assemblyman James Gallagher and Sen. Jim Nielsen.

The governor’s office didn’t immediately respond to the letter. But Gallagher, of Yuba City, said he believes Newsom is open to a regional approach to easing restrictions.

Meantime, six San Francisco Bay Area counties on Monday extended their local stay-at-home orders through May. The announcement came from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties along with the City of Berkeley, which has its own public health department.

“This global pandemic of COVID-19 is still in its early stages,” the Bay Area counties said in a statement. “The virus spreads easily, testing capacity is limited and expanding slowly, and vaccine development is just beginning. We expect to be responding to COVID-19 in our communities for a long time.”

California has had more than 45,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 1,800 deaths, more than half of them in Los Angeles County, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. However, the number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested. Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 122168

Reported Deaths: 4444
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles596922532
Riverside8303345
San Diego7798283
Orange6783165
San Bernardino5650209
Alameda364197
Santa Clara2850144
San Francisco264443
Imperial249330
Kern246245
San Mateo224484
Tulare208392
Fresno194437
Santa Barbara171414
Contra Costa154738
Sacramento149058
Ventura119035
Kings11876
San Joaquin102436
Stanislaus79230
Monterey62110
Sonoma5934
Solano55922
Marin52517
Merced3107
San Luis Obispo2881
Placer2599
Santa Cruz2192
Yolo21624
Madera1293
Napa1263
Humboldt1044
El Dorado980
San Benito962
Butte601
Nevada491
Sutter482
Del Norte470
Shasta404
Mono371
Mendocino330
Yuba311
Lake300
Inyo201
Glenn170
Calaveras160
Mariposa161
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Colusa70
Tehama61
Tuolumne50
Lassen50
Plumas40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Oroville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Paradise
Few Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 72°
Chester
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 71°
Red Bluff
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 74°
Willows
Few Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 72°
Today will be nice but much cooler weather this weekend with a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mostly in the north valley and mountains. We heat up again next week.
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