Sept. 22, 2020
Dear Superintendents and School Leaders,

The California Department of Public Health just released updated county tier assessments for the week. San Diego County is in the red tier, preventing a change in restrictions that would prevent schools from continuing to reopen.

According to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which outlines the metrics and conditions for reopening, the county will remain in the red tier for two weeks, because it takes two successive weeks of bad metrics to move back a tier. Specifically:
  1. During the weekly assessment, if a county's adjusted case rate and/or test positivity has fallen within a more restrictive tier for two consecutive weekly periods, the county must revert to the more restrictive tier.
  2. At any time, state and county public health officials may work together to determine targeted interventions or county wide modifications necessary to address impacted hospital capacity and drivers of disease transmission, as needed.
  3. Counties will have three days to implement any sector changes or closures unless extreme circumstances merit immediate action.

The San Diego County Office of Education team is continuing to work with the County of San Diego to address outstanding questions about what happens if we move back a tier, in the event that happens in the future.

We are also seeking clarification on the county’s previous answer to our question, “If the school has hosted small cohorts of students on campus to provide them with the means to participate in virtual instruction, would that constitute being reopened for in-person learning?” We understand this has brought up questions for schools that operated day camps or other forms of child care on campus. We will share additional information when the county elaborates.

I will share additional information as soon as we receive it. In the meantime, thank you for all you are doing during these unprecedented times. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if I can be of assistance.


Dr. Paul Gothold
San Diego County Superintendent of Schools
phone: 858-295-6641