If Kern County moves to the purple tier, what does that mean for schools?

Posted at 1:56 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 15:53:31-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — After reaching red tier status, students and parents in Kern County anxiously awaited for schools to reopen. Slowly districts began announcing their reopening plans and students began to return to campus.

Now as Kern County inches closer to falling back into the purple tier, districts that reopened during Kern's tenure in the red tier can rest assured they will not be forced to close again.

Kern County’s adjusted case rate exceeded the red tier metrics as of Tuesday, Nov. 10. If Kern’s metrics exceed the red tier metrics for a second consecutive week, the County would be required to revert back to the more restrictive purple tier as early as Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Schools that have reopened and allowed students back on campus will still be allowed to remain open if the county goes back to purple, according to the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.

If the county reverts back to the purple tier, schools that have yet to reopen at that time would be required to wait until the county goes back into the red tier to open.

If a school was in the process of implementing a phased reopening plan while the county was in the red tier, the school site may continue their phased reopening if the county reverts back to the purple tier.

The KCSOS said when school districts open for in-person instruction, full or partial closures due to confirmed COVID cases are recommended based on the following:

  • A classroom will be closed when there is one positive case in the classroom
  • A school will be closed when multiple classes or 5% of students/staff have confirmed cases within a 14-day period.
  • A district will be closed when 25% or more of schools in the district have closed due to COVID-19 within a 14-day period.

Once a classroom, school, or school district has been closed due to COVID cases, typically reopening may occur after 14 days and the following have occurred: Cleaning & disinfection, contact tracing investigation, and in consultation with Kern County Public Health.

KCSOS said each of Kern’s 47 school districts is responsible for developing and implementing its own reopening plan.

You can find out more about KCSOS instructions on reopening here.