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Desert Sands Unified Covid plan approved, only valley district OK’ed for in-person elementary school

Riverside County has approved the COVID-19 prevention plans of four school districts, including Desert Sands, which will allow for the return of in-person instruction.

The county's adjusted case rate for new COVID-19 cases dropped below a threshold that will allow for these school to reopen transitional kindergarten through sixth grade education.

On Tuesday, the state revealed that Riverside County adjusted case rate was 16.6. The threshold is 25.

Check Out: Today's data, including more on metrics nearing the Red Tier

Four school districts already have safety-plan approvals from the county and state approval is anticipated.

  • Desert Sands Unified School District
  • Corona-Norco Unified School District
  • Palo Verde Valley Unified School District
  • Murrieta Valley Unified School District

In a statement, DSUSD officials said the district now enters a seven-day wait period for the state to approve the plan. The board of education
will consider a specific date of return for students grades Pre-K-5 at its
March 2 meeting.

Parents within these districts should check with their school or district for more information on returning to in-person learning.

Watch: Students return to campus for in-person learning at Xavier College Prep

"The pandemic has had a major impact on education, like everything else, and as case rates currently continue to decline we can start getting more kids back in class," said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County’s public health officer. “But this can’t be without safety precautions or monitoring. Our districts and schools are committed to operating safely, and so am I.”

A county schools team, including Dr. Kaiser, continues to review other districts’ safety plans expeditiously along with state review.

“It has been a very difficult year for our teachers, students and parents. So many have been waiting for a return to in-person learning,” said Board Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “This is an important day for our students and entire education community.”

Schools previously open for transitional kindergarten through sixth grade education under the earlier waivers process remain in operation, as do those schools that opened for all grade levels during the county’s brief period in the state’s red tier framework, Dr. Kaiser said.

The Palm Springs Unified School District's board of education is set to hold a meeting Tuesday night to further discuss the district's own COVID safety plan. During their last meeting on Feb. 9, the board said they would vote whether or not to approve the plan during the March 9 meeting.

There was no word on CVUSD's COVID prevention plan at this time.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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