Los Angeles County elementary schools could reopen within weeks, Ferrer says

Los Angeles Elementary schools could be ready to re-open in just two to three weeks, according to Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.  

The county's top medical professional gave that promising news to L.A. County Supervisors Wednesday, as the number of new positive cases continues to drop and there is better progress on getting people vaccinated.  

Ferrer warned the that trend could reverse.

She added that for schools to be able to open "assumes that everybody continues to do their very best — play by the rules to keep making sure that transmission goes down and not back up."

The vaccination rollout is a big factor in re-opening schools. 

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A plan to use L.A. Schools as vaccination centers is becoming a real possibility. Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner has argued, a more robust vaccine rollout could speed up the re-opening of in-person classes. He’s been pushing to use school health centers and trained, licensed clinicians to administer vaccines, once more doses become available. 

L.A. County supervisors endorsed the idea Tuesday.

Ferrer said that LAUSD is going to open up 11 sites to help vaccinate older adults as well as teachers, and said she expected those sites to open sometime in February.

There is still no official timetable on what a return to campus would look like. The LAUSD and the Teacher’s Union are still negotiating, but rapidly decreasing infection rates could encourage those discussions to accelerate.