Merced County Times Newspaper
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Caution tape criss-crosses the parking lot of Peterson Elementary after the Merced County Office of Education announced the closure of schools throughout Merced County.

Governor, State Public Health Restrict In-Person Instruction in Merced County


(MCOE press release)

Governor Gavin Newsom today announced updated guidance from the California Department of Public Health for school reopening and set the metrics that all schools and county public health officials must use to determine whether to reopen schools to in-person instruction.

California Department of Public Health officials placed Merced County on the California County Monitoring List in early July in response to elevated COVID-19 transmission as indicated by Merced County exceeding state thresholds for positivity rates.

Because of this new guidance and Merced County’s status on the monitoring list, all Merced County schools must begin the 2020-2021 school year in distance learning.

“We recognize the significant impact school closures have on our school communities, students, families and staff,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen. “The health of our students and staff is our top priority and MCOE will continue to work with the county’s 20 school districts toward a safe reopening of schools to in-person instruction when health conditions allow. It is crucial that we all follow public health guidelines — like wearing face coverings, practicing good hygiene and social distancing — to reduce the spread of COVID-19 so our schools can resume in-person instruction.”

Merced County school districts have worked closely with the Merced County Department of Public Health to create reopening plans with safety precautions and a modified attendance schedule. School districts had planned to give families the option of in-person instruction or distance learning prior to the governor’s announcement.

For more information on your school’s start date and plans for Distance Learning, contact your local school. Information on Merced County’s 20 school districts is located here:

The guidance released today also addresses face coverings, social distancing, increased hygiene practices and cleaning. More information can be found here:

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