COVID-19 UpdateLaguna Beach Unified School District, March 12, 2020, Media Release
Dear LBUSD Community,
We have received updated guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that states to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19, “non-essential” gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people. Smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. The State’s updated policy defines a gathering as any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria or any other indoor or outdoor space. This guidance does not apply to activities such as attendance at regular school classes, work, or essential services. We have received several questions regarding when schools may be closed. As of this morning, the guidance we have received from the California Department of Public Health as to when we will close schools is as follows:
If one student, teacher or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and exposed others at the school, CDPH recommends that school administrators implement the following steps:
In consultation with the local public health department, the appropriate school official may consider if school closure is warranted, and length of time, based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by the local public health officer.
In consultation with the local public health department, school officials may determine readmission criteria after the school closures.
As you can see from the guidance above, any decision to close schools will be in direct consultation with the Orange County Health Care Agency. At this time there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our school community and we have not been directed to close, but will alert families immediately if we are advised to do so. Additional details regarding the CDPH Guidelines for schools can be accessed here as well as on our District webpage that hosts updated guidance, communications, and an FAQ on COVID-19.
Below are responses to some of the commonly asked questions we have received.
Does the District plan to cancel field trips or large school functions?
The District is reviewing all field trips and large gatherings to cancel or postpone them due to situations that fall under the CDPH guidance. The District and/or principals will communicate with staff and parents should there be an impact to a planned field trip, gathering, or event.
What additional sanitization procedures are taking place at sites and in classrooms?
Cleaning and disinfecting are part of a broad approach to preventing infectious diseases in schools. All LBUSD classrooms and facilities were deep cleaned and disinfected during the mid-winter break (Feb. 17-21) using a new disinfectant approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). All maintenance and operations staff have been provided with additional training and guidance to ensure that high-traffic areas are disinfected daily using state-recommended cleaning materials. This includes, but is not limited to, the nurse’s office, door handles, restrooms, locker rooms, PE/weightlifting equipment, reception areas, etc. All soap dispensers will be filled daily. Additional staff have been brought in to support our increased cleaning protocols. All school busses are swept and disinfected daily.
Tonight from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. PST, the County of Orange will provide an update on COVID-19 in a virtual town phone call. You can call 855-756-7520 Ext. 56750# to join. For more information regarding the novel coronavirus, please visit the following frequently updated websites:
Orange County Department of Education
Orange County Health Care Agency
California Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
We will provide you with additional updates as we receive new information.
Jason Viloria, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools