Gov. Tom Wolf today outlined new statewide guidance aimed at helping schools decide whether it is safe to reopen for in-person instruction.
The guidance places each Pennsylvania county in one of three tiers, based on the county’s COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population or its infection rate percentage. Depending on what tier a county is assigned, the guidance provides recommendations about whether public schools should open for in-person instruction, adopt hybrid plans, or offer remote learning only.
Low – Full In-Person Instruction: Schools in counties with under 10 cases per 100,000 and with an infection positivity rate of under 5 percent can have full in-person instruction.
Moderate – Blended Learning Model or Full Remote Learning: Schools in counties with between 10 and 100 cases per 100,000 or with an infection positivity rate of between 5 percent and 9.9 percent should provide blended learning or full remote learning only.
Substantial – Full Remote Learning Only: Schools in counties with more than 100 cases per 100,000 or with an infection positivity rate of 10 percent or over should offer full remote learning only.
Case and infection rate information used to determine which tier a county is assigned will be updated weekly. According to the guidance, school entities should deliver instruction as described in the tier into which their county falls for at least two weeks. Any county with fewer than 10 cases is excluded from the new guidance.
These new reopening measures are guidance for our schools, and PSEA will strongly encourage all schools in Pennsylvania to follow it. Doing that will ensure that Pennsylvania’s students, staff, and families stay safe; that we slow the spread of the virus; and that we know schools will be safe places to learn and work when the virus is under control.
We’re grateful for the governor’s leadership and appreciate his commitment to keeping Pennsylvania’s students, educators, support professionals, and their families safe. His announcement today provides a clear pathway for school leaders who are struggling to decide whether it’s safe to reopen schools for in-person instruction.
Stay tuned for more information as this develops. PSEA will continue to push the state to produce the clearest possible guidance.