In order to resume in-person class instruction, a county must have been off the state's COVID-19 watch list for 14 consecutive days.
WATCH LIST: Counties where COVID-19 is getting worse
Districts in counties on the watch list will only be able to do distance learning. As of Friday, 33 of California's 58 counties are on the COVID-19 watch list. That represents more than 80% of the state's population. San Francisco was added to the list on Friday, Mayor London Breed announced.
Until now, decisions on how and when to reopen have largely been left up to individual school districts.
The state's former guidelines for reopening schools recommended mask wearing for students, but now face coverings will be required for students in third grade and older. Face coverings are recommended but not required for kindergarten, first graders and second graders.
RELATED: Everything to know about California's confusing coronavirus reopening plan, summer shutdown and what comes next
Masks will be required for all teachers and staff. Staff will also be required to get tested for the virus regularly.
The governor also announced new rules on when schools will be forced to close back down:
- A classroom cohort has to go home when there is a confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- The school also has to close when multiple cohorts have cases or if 5% of all teachers and students test positive.
- An entire school district must close when 25% of its schools close within a 14-day period.
"Schools must provide meaningful instruction during this pandemic whether they're physically open or not," Newsom said. "We all prefer in-classroom instruction for all the obvious reasons, but only if it can be done safely."
Even for schools that only do online, distance learning, Newsom said the state will be making sure there are "rigorous" standards.
"If we're going to have distance learning, we will make sure that it's real, that we address the divide and it is quality," the governor said. "Learning is non-negotiable."
VIDEO: What to know about face masks for kids
Newsom said the new guidelines apply to K-12 education in the state. He added he is working with California's universities to agree on health and safety guidelines that should be released in the coming weeks.
California reported 9,986 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours. As of Friday, COVID-19 patients occupy about 16% of the state's ICU capacity.
California is in the middle of a summer surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The problem has gotten so bad, Gov. Newsom recently announced mandatory rollbacks of the state's reopening plan.
Bars, both indoor and outdoor, have been ordered to close down statewide. Restaurants are being told to cease indoor operations. Outdoor dining and takeout are still allowed.
VIDEO: Most CA schools 'shouldn't reopen' right now, state supt. says
All counties also have to close indoor operations at wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms.
In counties on the state's watch list, even more businesses are being required to close their doors. That includes gyms, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, other personal care services, indoor malls, offices in non-critical sectors, and places of worship.
Find out what that means for the Bay Area here.
App users, for a better experience: Click here to view the story in a new window
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:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- From salons to dinner parties: Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- California reopening: Here's what's open, closed in the Bay Area
- Watch list: Counties where COVID-19 is getting worse
- When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- Here's everything allowed to open in CA (and what we're still waiting on)
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Experts compare face shield vs. face mask effectiveness
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- WATCH: ABC7 Listens 'From Anger To Action: A Bay Area Conversation'
Major reopening rollback ordered in CA in attempt to control rampant coronavirus spread