BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Elementary schools across California could soon open back up thanks to new waivers that are being offered by the state.
Monday, the California Department of Public Health released new guidelines that would allow elementary schools, even those on the state's watchlist to apply for these waivers.
Schools would have to meet certain requirements, like teaching in small groups, and would have to get approval from state and local health officials.
Action News Now spoke with people in the community about the waivers.
Cassie Hilton, a parent from Chico says, "I think the waivers are a good idea. I have two older kids who go to Rosedale. This age demographic isn’t as affected. It's also a hard hit for the economy for parents who can't work and have to stay home."
Rita Rickmers, a retired teacher from Pleasant Valley High School says she disagrees. "Our numbers are increasing instead of going down and so I think it's hazardous for kids and teachers and people who work at the schools."
State health officials say they created the waiver process because new data showing young children are less likely to get and transmit the virus.
Right now, the waiver is only being offered for students in transitional Kindergarten through 6th grade. A district superintendent, private school principal, or executive director of a charter school can apply for a waiver.
The state recommends counties on the monitoring list with 14-day case rates of more than 200 cases per 100,000 residents should not be considered for a waiver. Butte County Public Health says its case rate is nearing that threshold.
For more details about the waivers, CLICK HERE.