Governor’s new Stay at Home Order allows schools to remain open

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced a new Five Region Stay at Home Order that will be triggered when a region has less than 15% ICU bed capacity. According to the Governor’s press conference, we are advised this could happen in the Southern California region in a matter of days, given the current trajectory of virus hospitalizations.

We have received specific assurance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) and the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) that this order will not apply to schools that have already opened for in-person instruction and are following the CDPH COVID-19 safety guidelines. This means all Los Alamitos Unified schools will remain open, and our in-person instructional programs will continue.  (Click here to access the OCDE News Release, which includes a quote from Dr. Clayton Chou of the OCHCA).

State and local health officials have cited a large body of evidence that the health and safety measures we have put in place, which include physical distancing, face masks, ventilation enhancements, smaller cohorts, timely contact tracing and notifications, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, have been effective in combating COVID-19. As a result, Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Secretary of Health and Human Services, has said schools are not the source of the current COVID-19 surge, continue to have low case and transmission rates, and may remain open during the pandemic.

While the stay-at-home order will not alter our school operations, I want to encourage us all to accept and personalize the overall message the Governor communicated today. The virus is spreading faster and farther throughout the State than it has since the pandemic began. We must come together as a community to take the necessary actions — wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, maintain social distancing— to counter the COVID-19 threat.  Protecting oneself may be an individual choice, but protecting others is up to our collective efforts.

On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire Los Alamitos USD Family, we want to extend heartfelt thanks to each of you for the patience, understanding, support, determination, and grit you have demonstrated in working as our partners through the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is an extraordinary community of students, teachers, support staff, administrators and families who have worked together to ensure that our students’ ongoing educational needs are met at the highest levels, and we should all take pride in what is being accomplished.   

Please stay safe by following all public health guidance, hold those you love close in mind and spirit, and know that whatever comes our way, we remain Better and Stronger Together!

This article was released by the Los Alamitos Unified School District.