Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that a back-up plan would mean the likelihood of an extended period of virtual learning rather than learning on campus.
Dr. Ferrer compared reopening Los Angeles County schools to how officials approached reopening other sectors.
"You absolutely would not want to open a sector when you thought that the result of a reopening could be an explosion of outbreaks within that sector. We're going to continue to be mindful of what our data is telling us. At the same time, we're moving ahead with issuing the protocols for reopening school campuses and we do that in a lot of collaboration with the Board of Supervisors, also with the superintendents and the districts who have done an amazing amount of work to prepare for reopening their campuses with as much safety as possible," Dr. Ferrer said.
The development comes as President Trump on Wednesday threatened to withhold federal funding if U.S. schools don't reopen in the fall despite the coronavirus. The president also lashed out at federal health officials over reopening guidelines that he complained are impractical and expensive.
Dr. Ferrer said health officials have been working with Los Angeles County schools for weeks about developing safety protocols, mirroring guidance from the state and the CDC.
She said she hopes the protocols are released "by the end of this week, early next week."
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