Fully in-person instruction will begin Wednesday for the Palm Springs Unified School District, and students and teachers will be required to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Nearly 20,000 students are set to return to classrooms under new COVID-19 protocols. The district said the new guidance stems from recommendations from the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“While the worst of the COVID-19 devastation may be behind us as more and more people are being vaccinated, the pandemic is not nearly over,” said Mike Swize, the district’s superintendent. “With several variants on the scene that are once again causing surges of new COVID cases and the fact that the vaccines are not yet available for children under the age of 12, we cannot let our guards down yet.”

Classrooms will return to full capacity, meaning there will no longer be social distancing requirements seen during hybrid learning, but it is recommended when possible, according to a 10-page document highlighting the district’s COVID-19 precautions.

Masks will be optional outdoors. Information for how each elementary school is handling recess will be provided by each school’s principle, according to the PSUSD.

Swize also announced that daily cleaning of classrooms and “high-touch surfaces” are also planned as part of the district’s new COVID-19 precautions.

Students and staff will also have access to on-site COVID-19 testing if they request it.

The full document can be read at www.psusd.us/cms/lib/CA02204874/Centricity/Domain/4/Reopening%20Guide%207-21.pdf.

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