LA County schools to reopen at 25% capacity as high-need students and English learners return to campus

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Thursday, October 22, 2020
LA County schools to reopen at 25% capacity
More students in Los Angeles County will soon be getting to back inside brick and mortar classrooms.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- More students in Los Angeles County will soon be getting to back inside classrooms.

The county will now increase in-person capacity to 25% as high-need and English-learning students return to brick-and-mortar schools.

This week, four Los Angeles County schools were also approved for waivers to allow students in pre-kindergarten through second grade back to campus.

Nearly 35,000 students and nearly 20,000 teachers and staff are now back in schools throughout the county.

General Motors is donating 500,000 masks to California students as some begin to reopen, the state's superintendent of public instruction announced.

Meanwhile, the state superintendent for public instruction, Tony Thurmond, on Thursday announced that General Motors is donating 500,000 to California students.

"Our goal is to see these face masks to go many of the communities where we know students and families experience disproportionate impacts by COVID," Thurmond said during a livestreamed update.

Near the end of September, with coronavirus cases falling and more schools and businesses reopening, Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration urged restraint, citing a statistical model that predicted a startling 89% increase in virus hospitalizations in the next month.

That hasn't happened. Instead, state data shows hospitalizations have fallen by about 15% since that warning while the weekly average number of new cases continues to decline even as other more populous states like Florida, Ohio and Illinois see increases.

Coronavirus pandemic exposing digital divide among LA students

A study finds 17% of families surveyed from South LA, Watts and Boyle Heights have no internet at home. Many students could be left behind due to technology inequities.

California's good news isn't enough to change what Newsom calls his "slow" and "stubborn" approach to reopening the world's fifth-largest economy. He again cautioned people against "being overly exuberant" about those coronavirus numbers, pointing to a "decline in the rate of decline" of hospitalizations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.