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Reopening System for California

As we look to the future, the reopening of our schools safely will be determined by many factors, including some we cannot control. California school districts are being required to readjust, as new guidelines and procedures for school reopening continue to evolve.  (See California's blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state). An integral part of this decision is contingent on Governor Newsom’s latest guidelines from the newly announced 4-tiered Reopening System for California. The new reopening system replaces the “watchlist” system and corresponding criteria. Under the 4-tiered system, San Mateo County is currently in the PURPLE tier.
 
Below is a summary of the New 4-tiered system intended to provide you a breakdown of the most relevant information.
 
What are the Governor’s color categories?
 
Governor Newsom announced color categories to determine how much of a county’s economy can re-open. The color categories are as follows:
 
Purple: Widespread COVID-19 infections.
Red: Substantial COVID-19 infections.
Orange: Moderate COVID-19 infections.
Yellow: Minimal COVID-19 infections.
 
What is San Mateo County’s color category?
 
Currently, San Mateo County is in the purple category, as COVID-19 infections per the California Department of Public Health, are still widespread in our county.
 
What does widespread COVID-19 infections mean?
 
Per the Governor, “widespread” is defined as 8 percent of tests coming back positive and more than 7 new cases daily per 100,000 residents.
 
When can schools re-open?
 
According to the new guidelines, for in-person instruction to be considered, school district’s respective counties must move into the red category, and must remain in the red category for at least two weeks.
 
How will we know if we are changing categories?
 
Categories will be updated every Tuesday by the California Department of Public Health.