PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Pasadena Unified School District campuses are welcoming back students for in-person learning on Thursday, with multiple guidelines in place to protect them and their teachers from the spread of the coronavirus.
Among the precautions, water fountains at the schools have been converted to hand-sanitization stations, and rugs have been removed from the classrooms of lower grades.
District officials are also pushing for eligible employees and students to get vaccinated against COVID-19, by providing information about vaccination clinics on a regular basis.
Superintendent Brian McDonald said that if the districts calculations are correct, nearly 96% of its teachers and staff have already been vaccinated.
Before stepping on campus each morning, students will be greeted daily by teams in place for wellness checks, officials said. Face coverings will be required, and air-sanitizing equipment has been installed inside classrooms.
The district's first day of school come the day after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California will become the first state in the nation to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, amid growing concerns about the highly contagious delta variant.
The new policy applies to both public and private schools and will affect more than 800,000 employees, including about 320,000 public school teachers and a host of support staff such as cafeteria workers and cleaners, the state Department of Public Health said. It will also apply to school volunteers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.