COVID-19 Response Recommendations for Child Care Programs, K-12 Schools, and Institutions of Higher Education
Current Situation in Orange County
Schools that have already reopened (including schools with waivers) are permitted to switch on and off in-person instruction as necessary for reasons such as extended vacation recess, temporary transition to distance learning, etc.), regardless of current Tier 1 status. Please go to Moving from Red Tier to Purple Tier Status Updates for Schools page for the most recent update.
Locally, we are in process of transitioning to the CDPH Safe Schools for All, thus the prior process of waivers will not be renewed. Instead, we will follow the CDPH process for eligible schools to apply for reopening beginning as early as February.
We have been advised that more details on the process will be available from CDPH in the next few weeks. https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Safe-Schools-for-All-Plan-Summary.aspx
The new guidance and process will be shared as soon as this becomes available.
Since Spring 2020, the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) has conducted weekly meetings with the OC Department of Education (OCDE), the County Superintendent of Schools and local school districts. Our partnership recognizes the importance of in-person education and ensuring that education is carried out safely.
The Safe Schools OC Program HCA COVID-19 School Response Team (SRT) was developed to help with school reopening. The HCA Team within the Safe Schools OC Program includes a Medical Director, Medical Officer, Program Managers, Public Health Nurses and an Epidemiologist. Collaborative partners within the Safe Schools OC program includes a team of medical professionals from CHOC Children’s Hospital and UCI Health and Orange County Department of Education nurses. HCA Public Health Nurses, under the direction of HCA Physicians, assist K-12 schools through the following activities:
- Provide resources and tools to communicate up-to-date information on responding to COVID-19.
- Support school reopening in both public and private sectors by sharing CDPH guidance and establishing a new partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, University of California, Irvine and Orange County Department of Education to assist schools with their reopening plans.
- Organizing and managing the County’s elementary school TK-6 waiver application, review and approval process.
- Support with identifying COVID-19 cases and conducting case investigation and contact tracing in students and staff to reduce the spread of the virus.
- COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and School-Based Programs: (https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf)
The HCA COVID-19 Schools Response Team also provides COVID-19 case and contact tracing assistance to local child care providers, youth sports teams, and colleges and universities.
Parents and students should contact your school with any questions. If you still have questions, email our OC COVID-19 Hotline at ETeam@ochca.com or call (714) 834-2000.
Visit https://newsroom.ocde.us/ for news and information about Orange County schools and the OC Department of Education.
Downloadable flyers and posters geared towards K-12 students are available HERE.
- CDPH issued guidance for all youth sports programs—including school-based, club, and recreational programs—to support a safe environment for players, coaches and trainers, families, spectators, event/program/facility managers, workers, and volunteers. Click the link to download those guidelines. https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-youth-sports--en.pdf
- Outdoor skateparks can open with modifications in all tiers. Attendees must adhere to physical distancing requirements and mask wearing as outlined in the outdoor playground guidance. https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/#campgrounds-outdoor-recreation
- CDC guidance and tools to help youth sports administrators make decisions, protect their teams and players, and communicate with their communities. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/toolkits/youth-sports.html