By Marissa Perlman

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California elementary schools that are ready to open their doors may get the green light from the state after new guidelines from the California Department of Public Health were released Monday.

“I just feel like it would be hugely irresponsible,” said Kelly Joanino in Elk Grove.

She says there is no way she’d send her two elementary school kids back to the classroom in this current environment.

“We’re only a couple of months into this and there are so many unknowns,” she said.

The California Department of Health just released a waiver application process that could let some elementary schools start in-person instruction if they meet certain “stringent health requirements.” The waiver would permit some elementary school kids, in small groups, to attend school if they follow the state’s safety guidelines.

Other parents say they’re confident in the state’s decision to move forward with the waiver.

“I have no issue with her going back to school. I think we’re taking the precaution that we need, and we shouldn’t limit these kids and allow them to learn and not restrict that,” said Michael Macniven.

CDPH points to new data which shows young kids are far less likely to shed and transmit the virus. But, for these parents, there’s not enough information on that yet, pointing to smaller outbreaks at childcare centers across the state, and at schools in Texas and Georgia.

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California Teacher’s Association President, E. Toby Boyd said, “Some students may be asymptomatic, how can you safeguard so they wouldn’t transmit the virus to an educator?”

He says the environment isn’t safe for students or staff.

“Are we willing to take that chance, and risk the lives of our educators and their families and the community? I would say no,” said Boyd.

Schools that apply for the waiver must have reopening plans that include a plan for cleaning and disinfection, face-covering requirements, health screenings and physical distancing guidelines, and small class sizes.

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Marissa Perlman

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