UCSF doctors call on schools to reopen in February

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Reopen California public schools next month — That is the call made today by a host of healthcare professionals from UCSF. 

Some Bay Area school districts say they welcome the input from the medical community but the time is not right to reopen.

“We are calling on our schools across the state to reopen as soon as possible and we have given a date to that of February 1st or as soon as allowed by the state,” Dr. Jeanne Noble, MD, MA, said. 

That is the collective opinion of over 30 healthcare professionals at UCSF. 

The director of UCSF COVID response, Dr. Jeanne Noble, being one of them. As we approach the one year mark of COVID, she says there is more data showing that schools are safe.

“Right here in the Bay Area, we have Marin County, which is essentially the only county that successfully opened its schools. Since September they have had about 30,000 kids and 5,000 teachers back in school, kindergarten through 12th grade. During that time, that’s about 450,000 student days, they’ve had 6 cases of campus-based transmissions,” Dr. Noble said. 

However, some school district officials and teachers in the Bay Area say in addition to questioning if it is safe, not all school districts have the same resources to safely reopen at this time.

“The disparities are real. There is inequity that we all new existed. So you do have perhaps Marin is open. They definately have more resources but you do have districts that are struggling on the regular. I have been teaching in Oakland Unified for 26-years and when I started I was actually teaching in a hallway with no furniture. To give you a clue about resources,” Chaz Garcia, Oakland Teachers Association, said. 

San Francisco Unified School District sent a statement that reads:

“SFUSD continues to prepare so that we can safely resume in-person learning in alignment with public health guidance and all the indicators in our dashboard.”

According to SFUSD’s in-person readiness dashboard areas of work are anywhere from 75% to as low as 25% complete.

“Again I am thrilled we now have the medical field really advocating for the importance of getting students back on our campuses but we continue to need more support to see that happen. For all that to come together by February 1st, I’m hopeful but I have to be cautiously optimistic,” Dr. Adam Clark, superintendent of Mount Diablo Unified School District, said.

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