Most California schools 'shouldn't reopen' if COVID-19 trends continue, state superintendent says

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With many California school districts just three or four weeks away from fall instruction, many are opting for full-time online distance learning amid the coronavirus pandemic. That's the smart move for much of the state, said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond in a virtual press conference Wednesday.

RELATED: Everything to know about CA's confusing coronavirus reopening plan, summer shutdown and what comes next

"I think that if school opened tomorrow, most of our districts would open in distance learning," said Thurmond. "And that is a decision that I think is a good decision if conditions don't change right now."

Last month, the California Department of Education released 62 pages of guidelines for districts on how to safely reopen.

VIDEO: Most CA schools 'shouldn't reopen' right now, state supt. says
EMBED More News Videos

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond provided an update on how California schools plan to reopen in the fall.



"Since we've issued our guidance, conditions have changed dramatically," said Thurmond. "We know that in many communities throughout our state we're seeing high rates of infection in the community."

Two of the state's largest districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, have already announced they'll be doing distance learning exclusively in the fall. San Francisco Unified and several other Bay Area school districts are doing the same.

RELATED: Several South Bay school districts share plans to start school year with 'distance learning'

Thurmond acknowledged the safest way forward for much of the state is to keep classrooms closed for now, and pivot to some in-person instruction if and when coronavirus conditions improve.

"As we've always said, safety is paramount," said Thurmond. "If it's not safe to do so, schools shouldn't reopen in a way that would put students or staff in harm's way."

We're tracking reopening and closing in the Bay Area closely. Check out our interactive map below for the latest:

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.