FOX 5 San Diego

San Diego County school ready to reopen after COVID-19 renovations

SAN DIEGO – The rate of coronavirus cases in San Diego County is dropping and if it continues, schools could consider reopening this fall.

San Diego County public health officials reported Friday a case rate of fewer than 100 positive COVID-19 tests per 100,000 for the third day in a row. Schools can consider reopening for in-person learning if cases in the county stay under that threshold for 17 days in a row.

“We are ready,” Dr. Lauren Lek, head of school at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace in University Heights, said Friday.

She walked FOX 5’s Jeff Mcadam through campus to show him the measures they are taking to make sure children are safe when they can return to school.

They knocked down walls to make classrooms bigger, which allowed them to add more space between desks. They also created wider hallways that only allow for foot traffic in one direction. Video monitors at each entrance will check students’ temperatures before they walk inside.

“We looked at how we could get ready and many of these ideas, from the plexiglass to masks on at all times to our disinfectant, were all so intentional to get us ready to reopen,” she said. “The thought was, we could be a model as to how others could do this.”

Lek said school leaders recognize some students and teachers may not feel comfortable returning to class if schools are allowed to reopen. They’ve set up classrooms to allow for virtual access from home as well.

“We can’t wait and really, we have been spending all summer getting ready,” Lek said.

State officials said Friday they will have to review data before removing the county from its monitoring list.

Previously, county and state officials had said if the rate stays below 100 per 100,000 people — it was 96.3 Friday — for three consecutive days, the county would officially be removed from that list.