Amid a rise in coronavirus cases and a change in public health orders, the Burbank Unified School District this week assured stakeholders that all schools will reopen full time for in-person instruction next month, but that it must follow Los Angeles County health guidelines in carrying out the process.
The district reiterated its commitment to reopening under the guidance of the county as a response to two parents who expressed concern over requiring students, especially young children, to wear masks all day.
Aviva Williams came before the board during a virtual meeting on Thursday and asked that the district tell county Department of Public Health officials that students’ wearing masks in the classroom — a means of preventing COVID-19 transmission — does not make for a good learning environment.
Though the increase pales in comparison to last year’s Fourth of July surge, Los Angeles County is experiencing a concerning spike in COVID-19 infections after recording more than 1,000 new cases for a seventh consecutive day on Thursday.
The rapid rise in daily cases, increasing number of cases involving the Delta variant and a slowing vaccination rate prompted the county to reinstate its mandate that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in public spaces, just one month after the state celebrated its much-anticipated reopening. The new health order will be effective late Saturday evening.
“Wearing a mask when indoors with others reduces the risk of both getting and transmitting the virus,” County Health Officer Muntu Davis, a physician, said in a virtual conference on Thursday. “Masking indoors must again become a normal practice by all, regardless of vaccination status, so we can stop the trends and level of transmissions we are currently seeing.”
Lorraine Hart ordered a vodka tonic this week and did what would have been unthinkable several months ago: She sat at the bar.
The Glendale resident sipped her drink as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played on the jukebox. She had been going to the local Blue Room bar for about 30 years, and with capacity limits for bars and restaurants recently lifted, it appeared she would visit the iconic location for years more.
The announcement by President Joe Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week that they feel fully vaccinated people can comfortably shed their masks in most public locations was a welcome one for many Americans.
It was also welcomed by Glendale Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas, who, like many others, read between the lines when the president said that if you’re vaccinated, the federal government won’t be the one to tell you to keep your mask on. A popular interpretation of the statement is that, as vaccination rates tumble, officials are hoping to encourage more Americans to get their inoculations against the coronavirus.