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Bay Area schools hold firm with in-person plans as omicron surges and parents grow concerned

Bay Area students will be back in school starting Monday after spending two weeks with family and friends or even traveling to other states and countries just as the omicron wave hits California.

The combination of a massive rise in coronavirus cases and exposure during the holiday break has left families and teachers anxious about returning to in-person learning in the coming days.

But epidemiologists, health officials, Governor Gavin Newsom and President Biden are on their way to how to proceed: testing, masking, and continuing to teach in person.

“Nothing has changed,” said Dr. George Rutherford, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, on reopening schools. The general position is “not to touch this application.”

That doesn’t mean the status quo will be easy, with test kits promised by the state arriving after school starts and cool classrooms open from windows to increase ventilation.

Due to the devastating academic and health impact of distance learning on students, closing classrooms has become the “third pillar of educational policy,” Rutherford said, adding that K-12 schools are not expected to temporarily transition to virtual learning like many public universities and colleges. Owns.

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