California has not seen a link between the reopening of K-12 schools for in-person learning and increased coronavirus transmission, officials say.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's top public health official, said Tuesday it can take time for trends to emerge, but so far the results are encouraging.
"We want to act responsibly but, so far, it's encouraging to see the tremendous effort and planning that communities and their schools and their staff have done to make sure that it's lower risk for students and staff alike," Ghaly said during a virtual briefing on Tuesday. "We're seeing (those) fruits early on, and I think that's encouraging for all of California."
California requires counties to report coronavirus levels and infection rates below certain thresholds before they can allow K-12 schools to broadly reopen for in-person instruction.
On Tuesday, 32 of the state's 58 counties were deemed eligible to do so, up from 28 a week earlier. The state has seen a broad decline in the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks.
But Californians are being urged to remain vigilant and follow safe practices.
Most Los Angeles County students are not allowed to return to classrooms at this time.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner has said schools will not reopen before November. But this week, the county began accepting waiver applications to allow a limited number of kindergarten through second grade classrooms to resume in-person instruction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.