Santa Clara County’s Health Officer Joins Call for Full-time Schools in Fall

Health officers from 10 Bay Area counties and one city are calling for California schools to open for full-time, in-person learning in fall 2021.

Officers from Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Sonoma and the city of Berkeley issued a statement supporting opening schools for all grades.

“The lack of in-person learning has disrupted education, weakened the social supports provided by school communities, negatively impacted mental health, and prevented participation in the rituals and shared milestones that tie our communities together,” according to the group statement issued May 28.

“The science is now clear that the risk of transmission among children wearing masks is very low, even with reduced spacing between desks,” the group asserted.

Factors supporting this conclusion include that in the Bay Area and throughout the state, there are high rates of vaccination among people at increased risk of severe disease, including older adults and those with a high risk of medical complications, according to the group.

Also, children 12 and older are now eligible for vaccinations and there is low overall community prevalence.

The group noted that “many schools” in California have brought students and teachers back to campus under the guidelines of the California Department of Public Health including requirements for face covering, basic cleaning, enhanced ventilation, and other measures to facilitate a safe return to in-person instruction.

Schools are not legally mandated to reopen in the fall, nor has Gov. Gavin Newsom called for them to do so.

California will reopen on June 15 without any capacity limits or physical distancing requirements for businesses or events, the state's Health and Human Services secretary said May 21.

Newsom in April had announced the expected June 15 reopening date, which state officials confirmed as COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations continue to drop and the number of people vaccinated continues to increase.

One Sonoma County education official added his voice to the group endorsing a return to in-person education in the fall.

“Students, parents, teachers, coaches - and their families - deserve our thanks for the considerable sacrifices they have made,” said Dr. Sundari Mase, Health Officer and Public Health Division Director of Sonoma County. “It's time to move past the remote-learning model and back to the full range of learning and support that our educational communities provide.”


  1. Talk about leading from behind!

    How admirable of them to praise the public with such lofty rhetoric as. “Students, parents, teachers, coaches – and their families – deserve our thanks for the considerable sacrifices they have made,” Sacrifices, they neglect to point out, that were enforced by the heavy hand of the teachers unions and facilitate by spineless politicians and the cowardice of these self-same supposed “health professionals” to actually follow the science.

    I am wondering if they could have added something along the lines of “Governor Newsom, by sending his children to private in-person schools the entire year, should be given a medal. His courage and that of his children, confirmed, in a tangible way, proved what the science had told us all along — it was safe to go to school.

    The damage done by the unnecessary school closure is incalculable. And, it impacted the poor the most.

    Can we expect other earth-shattering health leadership comments from this group such as “chewing sugarless gum MAY cause fewer cavities?” (I am sure that they wouldn’t want to be too definitive on the subject. That is why I used “may” instead of “does”).

    The good news is that the people seem to be leading themselves out of this bureaucratic quagmire and these “professionals” will be relegated to leading from behind. The people, in large part, have had enough — enough of the Dr. Fauci and Dr. Cody types. If you want to drive down the street alone, inside your Tesla, wearing your mask, by all means do so….

  2. The science has been clear since early on that the risks of children getting or transmitting Covid1984 even without wearing masks has always been minimal. “Current science” simply confirms what has been true all along.

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