County superintendent issues statement on elementary school waiver approval process

Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares issued the following statement Friday in response to the elementary school waiver process and technical issues with the state’s health data reporting system.

A photo of Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares

Dr. Al Mijares

In Orange County, we all share a desire to have students return to safe and equitable learning environments. Yet reliable data must inform and drive these decisions, and I applaud the steps the OC Health Care Agency is taking to not move forward with next steps in the elementary school waiver process until the state resolves technical issues with its communicable disease data collection system known as CalREDIE.

The Health Care Agency announced recently that it will continue accepting waiver applications for elementary schools that wish to resume in-person instruction while their counties remain on the COVID-19 monitoring list, but will pause consultations between the County Health Officer and California Department of Public Health until the electronic lab reporting system is resolved.

Considering the stakes, insisting on accurate health data is the most prudent course. Maintaining the safety and wellbeing of students and employees is the No. 1 priority of our local districts and our public health partners, which are taking all necessary precautions to protect local schools and the communities they serve.