Letter to Parents About Humboldt County Schools From Public Health Officer

School BusInformation from Humboldt County Public Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich for parents of school age children:

Dear Humboldt County Parents,

This has certainly been a challenging year for students and their families. I don’t think any of us could have imagined the impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives and the county as a whole just six months ago. The new school year is rapidly approaching, and Humboldt County Public Health has been in conversations for many weeks now with school superintendents about what school might look like here in Humboldt.

The challenge before us is that things can change quickly in this pandemic, and it is very possible that school operations may change over the course of the year, even over one month. Our goal has been to find a way to get students back into the school setting if possible, since this is clearly the optimal learning environment for most children and provides a wealth of other supports as well.

At this time, our local data would allow us to begin on-site instruction with robust safety plans in place. We are not on the state’s County Monitoring List, which would dictate beginning with distance learning only. However, our county is clearly seeing increasing numbers of cases in recent weeks, and that is of concern. Most of these have been linked to travel by residents to areas outside of Humboldt County and to our families and friends traveling here to visit. In addition, social gatherings occurring without masking or distancing have been a driver of transmission. We have been messaging about this to the community, but if the current trend continues, at some point we may be placed on the monitoring list.

If schools are already operating when we are placed on the list, they are not necessarily moved to distance learning only, but may be depending upon conditions locally. Schools that are not already operating in-person will only be able to begin with distance learning.

As you may be aware, the California Department of Education (COE), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the national Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all have return to school guidance documents for schools to review, in addition to other resources. Public Health has also provided a guidance document referencing these resources and has worked extensively with the Humboldt County Office of Education on developing a template that each school may use to construct their plan. Each school’s final plans will be made available to families.

Public Health has also designated a public health nurse with extensive experience as a school nurse to serve as a liaison to schools. She will be able to answer questions and give ongoing technical assistance, both as schools develop their plans and throughout the school year as questions arise. Public Health is not tasked with reviewing or enforcing school plans, rather, public health provides a framework for schools to develop their own plans based on their unique setting and circumstances.

Whether or not your child’s school begins with full on-site instruction, a hybrid model with students doing a combination of on-site and distance learning or complete distance learning, will depend on what is happening with COVID-19 at the time and the school’s chosen approach for the start of the year based upon their capacity to implement guidance and input from teachers and families. Schools with on-site learning are also planning to offer distance options.

Classrooms will look different with more social distancing, cleaning, use of facial coverings and attempts to cohort children as much as possible to lessen exposures, but schools will still be a familiar and supportive space in which children can learn and grow, both academically and socially.

Your child’s school will keep you up to date as the school year draws closer. I want to assure you that the close collaborative relationship between Humboldt County’s schools and Public Health will continue throughout the academic year. Let us hope that advances in treatment and prevention allow us to move past the threat of COVID-19 over this coming year and that we are soon able to reclaim “normal” in our routines, both in and outside school.

Teresa L Frankovich, MD, MPH

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67 comments

  • 🕯🌳Again I’ll ask will the Board of Trustees place themselves at schools with the students as school’s reopen? Or will they sit safely behind their desks behind closed doors? I believe that Humboldt has been spared high hospitalizations and deaths due to the high temperatures and humidity but as winter approaches and the rainy season comes and temperatures drop I believe the virus will surge. It thrives in a cold weather environment. And if I’m wrong I’ll be man enough to admit it. 👁👁

    • You got kids in school? If you did then you were given a questionnaire ,if not then you Willie have NO say, end of discussion I think .

      • Wrong. Willie lives in this community and has as much risk as anyone else if our numbers continue to climb. You don’t get to zero someone’s opinion just because you don’t agree with it.

        • Well at leaat he should realize that most of humbold and the whole west coast has dry summer heat…but humid

        • Isn’t that what GOOGLE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER are doing to people who have different opinions?

          Censorship is not a good idea when we need to hear from doctors and nurses and people with their different opinions on what they are experiencing.

          Singapore and China have become the model style of government for multinational corporations, lookin for a captive population to sell its goods to, and a poor population that can be exploited.

      • When it spreads and multiplies through schools do not think for a moment it will spare folks who have no kids in schools. It will multiply at school and spread out from there. And still trying to understand whether a person receiving a questionnaire negates their rights to be concerned about the subject.

    • Thank you Willie, although I do not see the board members of any school preparation to put students and teachers back in classrooms, including themselves in those decisions. The talk of immunity has been tossed around by both sides of the political island’s but it hasn’t changed yet. As it stands now, the buck stops with the school, period. The school however consists of the state, superintendent, board members and others. My point is that the state already has immunity, the rest do not and are open to litigation both as a board and as individuals. The first case of COVID-19 that is traced back to transmission in the school setting opens the floodgates of opportunity for the board members themselves to lose not only what they have but everything they ever wanted. Kept me out of applying to be a board member. And yes, I have one left in school. The decisions made have consequences beyond being reelected.

    • A great alternative is a K-12 program from Hillsdale college, in Hillsdale Michigan. They have classes for every age group, and they are wonderful. They will send you a list of books you need, and they are available from Amazon. It is loved by the students whose parents are smart enough to use this system. Far superior to anything Calif public schools have to offer, of course Calif schools are ranked 48th in the US, very poor. For instance, in Compton, they have public schools who have a very low, less than 10%, graduation rate. The Catholic school in Compton graduates nearly 97%. Charter and other private schools are far superior to the public schools, especially in Calif.

      • This is because Republicans have taken money from schools for years and given it to various religious and charter communities. They have gutted funding for public schools and tried to blame the teachers for the bad education the students get… show me the evidence that these schools are superior. If they are private or religious schools, show me they are supported only by private or religious money. It seems the height of idiocy to rape public schools and then claim that private, charter or religious schools are so much better.

    • Starting school is absolutely ridiculous. I give it a month & we’ll have a huge upswing in cases, and schools will have to close. My kids won’t be going to in person learning. I won’t risk my families safety so others can have a free baby sitter.

      • My son lives in Humboldt county. I live in Pennsylvania I feel the same way .. I feel it’s extremely irresponsible to put the lives of these children and every person they fraternise with in danger.. America needs to pull it together our president and governments need to find the best solution of our children to do virtual schooliy and financially figure something out very fast for the people .. adults need to pull it together and quite complaining about the children being home and about home schooling them.. I will gladly stay home and teach my child. I’ve had4 children, I worked 3, part-time jobs and taught my children at home.. it work but it’s so worth it,! Trust me I had a child who came I’ll with a rare type of cancer she is now on heaven.. I couldn’t keep her safe from cancer HOWEVER I can keep my school aged daughter right now from contracting this virus.. and I will! Do people seriously think sending their kid(s) to school so they stop getting on your nerves is more relevant than that child’s live or a free babysitter more relevant than a child life? I Don’t think so.. People need to get up, pay attention, protect your children like you are supposed too..

        • In my 1911 I trust

          The data is in. Children don’t need protection from this virus. Only the weak and elderly die from covid. That is backed up by data that is growing at an exponential rate everyday. If you are an “at risk” parent, you will need to think of something because a child can’t be raised right without their parents. That being said, if you are healthy, you have a responsibility to get your child educated. Its very selfish of our society to be sacrificing the entirety of our population for so few people who would actually die from this disease. People get sick. People die. Kids are at a way higher risk of dying from the influenza virus than covid. I have posted that information before but I feel like a broken record at this point but if you must have the data, go to the CDC website and start there. I will post the link AGAIN if needed. I just hope ya’ll keep this sort of consistency in caring for others after the corona crap is over and flu season comes around.

          • I have the link to the now Republican controlled CDC website. I also have the link to Johns Hopkins dashboard on Covid-19. Actually, we are in a flu season right now and in three months, Covid-19 killed more than the entire last flu season in a year. How are we sacrificing the entirety of our population for the few that would actually die? We have killed, because of Republican inaction and ignorance over 154,000 people so far. 40% of those have been sick and elderly. That leaves 60% who weren’t. These were normally healthy folks until they contracted Covid. Also, the average age for contracting Covid -19 is 40 and dropping. People who contract Covid-19 usually have long-term heart damage. Gee, I never had that from the flu.

      • Experts in child development and disease prevention are in agreement that the risks of depriving kids of face to face education psychologically, educationally and physically outweigh the risk of COVID.
        School isn’t “babysitting” it’s the education, contributes heavily to the psychosocial development of our children. The risk of children spreading COVID is questionable at best.

    • It started in Australia, in the summer. I’m just saying. The fall may bring more.

    • But DMV , Costco, Winco, US Bank etc. better be open.

  • Making kids wear masks is beyond dumb. It is going to fuck their psychology and now theres just more in the litany of things to indoctrinate our children into becoming good little robots for the state. Good luck. Burn the mask.

    • How will it “fuck with their psychology”?

      • Yeah, seriously. How can it mess with a kid’s psychology any more than requiring them to wear clothes to school does? The only psychological issues are those pressures from ideological parents who ridicule others about mask wearing.

    • Other parts of the world have been wearing masks since the 50’s, a simple internet search will show that. Can you show where the Psychology of children has been affected Anywhere? Don’t cuss, we should have an intelligent conversation on Kim’s site,,,,plus it makes you look small and did not do one thing to advance your point of view.

      • Showing and teaching them fear.. Thats fine id you dont agree.. But my kids wont be sheep. And we are not other parts of the world.. Go live therr if it makes you feel safer.. Most places have and dont wear masks before the media hype of covid

        • Angela Robinson

          Yeah, telling kids to not take candy from strangers.

          Or any of a number of things we tell/direct children, for their , do must be permanently scarring to you.

          Or do you just selectively scar your children, unless you think think telling them to avoid certain kinds of people, don’t run into traffic, etc isn’t “showing them fear”. I could go into having guns for “self protection”, but that, well yeah, teaching your kids how to shoot because you are worried for them…that’s showing them fear, too.

          • Angela Robinson

            No edit button? I messed up that one sentence, sorry.

            Should read:

            Or any of a number of things we tell/direct children, for their own protection , to do must be permanently scarring to you.

            Oh LOL, NOW the edit button shows up. 🙂

            • You have 30 minutes to edit. Then the option disappears.

              • HOJ in Training

                Angela was actually trying to report a glitch in your website. Normally, the edit option would show almost immediately after posting a comment. For the last couple of days, it has been taking almost 10 minutes after posting for the edit option to show.

                • I tried twice as a test account. Both times the Edit option showed up. Is anyone else having this issue? If so, what browser are you using?

                  • I’m using Google.

                    That was the first time that ever happened to me.

                  • After posting the comment, the site acted as if it didn’t recognize that we made the comment.

                    It happened to me on the 4th. What is most similar about the issue is that the edit option didn’t show until after we both posted a reply to our own comment.

                    Makes me think the 2nd posting acted as a refresher to the original one, allowing it to fully load.

                    I am using Chrome.

                    The edit option showed and worked just fine for this posting. (2X)

        • Swine – [edit] Even we wore masks in 1918 because it was preferable to death. The Japanese and Chinese and Koreans have worn masks for centuries because they knew that it helped them to survive longer and live healthier.

          As Americans, we are a nation of sheep. The only time we show any initiative is when we can find ways to lie, cheat and steal. We are right on that. We let Republicans kill 154,000 of us so far and all we do is bitch about wearing masks. Sure sounds like sheep to me.

          • Take some responsibility for heavens sake.

            You really need to check yourself and figure out who’s running your life.

            Ignore the death count, ignore everything the msm and corporate digital tech giants are telling you.

            This is the mother of all psyops.

            You just need to become your own daddy.

            You know you are stronger and better than that.

            Who is responsible for Mao, Stalin, Hitler, etc.

            The billionaire boys club.

            Chop wood carry water brother,

            Act like a slave, get treated like one.

    • Swine,
      thanks.

    • Yes! And down with pants and underwear! Let our loins hang free from DIAPER tyranny!

    • plain and simple

      Your kids will most likely be scarred because it is the focus of something negative in your house. I treat masks differently in my household and my children have no issues with them at all, its similar to having to wear shoes when you go into a store. Plain and simple

  • It seems to me that the schools need to provide options if the decision to have schools open is made. Parents should be able to keep their children home if they feel that is the best choice. No child should have to miss their education for the convenience of the district.
    I do not have a child in school at this time. I home schooled my child

    • It seems that has happened in some areas, some not. I appreciate your stance that every person deserves to have the opportunity to a quality education.

    • In my 1911 I trust

      And if the decision to close is made, I want all my damn taxes refunded. You realize we already paid for this school year right? A good chunk of my property taxes went to paying for our elementary-highschool classes around the county. We talked about potential spread, we’ve talked about the pros and cons, who is scared who isn’t, the different options of “distance learning” available. Lets talk about the money now. This upcoming school year has already been bought and paid for and I get pretty surly when I get ripped off. A lot of us have a good bit of dough coming back if they don’t open schools, and the majority of us need that dough right now, right? So why doesn’t the county look out for its community and refund those funds if they are not used. Teachers need to miss out on their salary if they are not working, and have 2020 discounted from their ever fattening benefits package. And…I want my money back. I’m going broke, thats some cash I could use and I feel many others are in the same boat.

      • It’s a misnomer to say teachers aren’t working, when they are still preparing lessons and teaching children but with the added burden of doing it an unfamiliar online environment.

        • Kym, you are too kind….misnomer is an understatement.

        • In my 1911 I trust

          If they work they need to be properly compensated. If they are working from the comfort of their home doing distance learning, they still need to be paid, obviously. I never ask anyone to do anything for free. There needs to be a certain amount deducted from their pay though. There is no way they can teach as effectively via “distance learning” as they can in person. I don’t want to pay the same amount for B rate education of the kids. Also, since they are not there in person, the burden of making them pay attention and do their work falls solely on the parents. That is a huge part of their job that they no longer have to do. Also, a parent will probably have to stay home from work(if they are both able to work in this age), which means they will be losing money as well. The parents need to be compensated for that and it needs to be refunded from the taxes that we already paid to fund this school year.

          Furthermore, I have taken many online classes, its how I chose to take classes if that was an option, because I like to travel. I know it takes a certain amount of motivation and a certain level of intelligence to competently perform in an online setting. I know a huge burden of the work is taken off of the professor and placed on the student(or parent in this setting), not the other way around. The trade off is the student having more freedom. Unmotivated, C average students are not going to flourish in this setting, especially if they don’t have a parent there to crack the whip. We will see a huge gap develop in education between the smarter, more motivated students and the ones who aren’t as motivated, as smart, or just don’t care. Its not ideal.

          • Have you considered that a new online learning situation is both more work for teachers and more for parents? This is not like a tug of war in which teachers are relaxing on their end and parents are picking up the slack. This is much more complicated. Teachers are going to be trying to prepare new lessons that work for an online learning environment (and this is a relatively new method of teaching to small children), doing so from their home with their own children needing supervision, over internet connections that may not be the best, while trying to learn the latest info from other teachers on strategies that work, and often without much understanding of technology that they will also have to learn.

            I’ve taken online classes and enjoyed them as an adult but as a teacher, I’m struggling to imagine how the lessons I’ve found successful in the past would translate online. I know I would be staying up late and getting up early trying to make this work.

            [I also should have noted this is going to be hard on many students to adjust to something new without as much social interaction as they have relied on in the past, learn online, learn more independence, and do so in many cases with frazzled teachers and parents.)

            • In my 1911 I trust

              Many children will be left behind Kym. As teachers and parents struggle. There are some classes that just won’t be possible via online learning. What you just described is a terrible scenario. Why would we do this to our kids? Especially when they are left mostly unaffected by this disease? You also know as well as I do that the motivation for a lot of students just isn’t there. We also know that there are parents who don’t do the best job or just aren’t very good people. We might as well just kiss the kids goodbye who are unmotivated and have lousy parents to boot. We already have an abhorrent education system and we are doing a good job at making it even worse. There really only are two choices:

              Bite the bullet ourselves, take the risk, and send our kids to school, especially if we are healthy parents. Some of us will get sick and some of us may die. Our kids will have a chance to thrive though, and maybe we’ll create more job openings for them than there were for me when I turned 18. Its honestly a win-win, but I know a lot of good people who have made the ultimate sacrifice for a lot less. Or….

              Say fuck the children! Save ourselves!!!

              • Or say…take a year or two without the best education for all students (but there will be kids that will thrive in this system) and allow time for a vaccine to be developed and let more people live out their natural lives, keep medical systems from being overwhelmed, and save over a million lives https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-economy-shutdown-coronavirus-saved-2-7-million-lives/

                • In my 1911 I trust

                  Ok and have you looked up the track record of fast tracked vaccines Kym? Some of the largest medical bungles in the history of the United States have been fast tracked vaccines, resulting in deaths of thousands of people and permanent damage to tens of thousands of people. Research the fast tracked polio vaccines and the first flu vaccines. They were messed up. I would not subject my kids to that. Time for an effective vaccine could take a lot longer than “a year or two.” That is your timeline and pure speculation. Right now, there is no vaccine. We already shut down and gave time for our medical systems to prepare, then we go rid of all that infrastructure because we just remained shut down. A year or two is an incredibly long time for children, especially in their prime stages of mental and physical development. And, just to point out, none of us are living “natural” or “normal” lives right now, in case you haven’t noticed.

                  Furthermore, I can’t survive a few more months of being shut down, much less one or two years. I am almost out of dough and I have a wife and kid to feed. I know many people in the same position or worse. What do we do then?

              • Great point.

                Too many people want guarantees…

                The elite understand there’s just too many people.

          • Need to hold firm on the 37th place rank in education.

            • You nailed it.

              Let the childs parent(s) decide and the money follows the child.
              Some teachers and parents want the kids in school.
              Some want other choices.
              Since we are rated 37th it seems a good time to try
              alternatives and see what works best, because we can’t get much worse, or cost much more than it does now.

              How much does it cost us for administration?
              Not counting whats spent on the kids.

  • 🕯🌳I live between a High School and a Middle School in Fortuna and every morning I go for a walk for my health and to take pictures. Right across the street from the Fortuna police Department was 7 vehicle’s from out of state. Three states with the highest infections rates but yet they do nothing and they are also in the middle of the same to schools. So tell me who’s caring for the children and the people of Fortuna? The police? The Sheriff’s? The Health Department? Or the common citizens of the community?🖖

    • It will be alright, fatality numbers are twice the annual flu fatality numbers and nobody ever cared about those numbers . So give 2 sheets now? Because people watch too much media and are panicked, when people panic they make irrational decisions. I have watched many of people spin in circles from panicking. It’s all part of life, it will be alright .

      • “ fatality numbers are twice the annual flu fatality numbers ” ok….🙃 don’t panic, yet…. I get what you are trying to say, let me know if I hear you right.
        Until, you get sick with something that hits hard and fast. Causes respiratory illness, in the hospital for several months, come home but not 100% . Then a new form of something shows up in the world population, and there is a chance that you can slow it down if you stay home was your hands and ta-dah…..wear a 😷 mask.
        Great, now August rolls around, the people we put in charge now say. Go to school, sit in and enclosed area, but wash your hands and please wear a mask. Asking a teen to do anything let alone tell them is mostly an uphill battle. Now they and we are going to put our children and teachers in exactly the kind of situation they have been telling us to stop and stay away from. Never mind the fact that a child or teacher can bring something home to you, or me. Because masks are not 100% effect. But they do give you and I a better chance at survival. But don’t panic, yet
        Because it’s not time to panic. That has passed and it’s time for people to sit up and see for themselves, not what you have been told.

        • Better chance of survival, that gave me a chuckle.You are definitely panicked with a statement like that. But hey I come from a group that pays to play with death . Peace out.

        • Send your teenager to Singapore and watch the amazing transition from me, me, me, to I need to become a better human being .

  • Point 1: masks help others feel safe in their personal bubble.
    Point 2: masks make it more difficult for AI facial recognition to successfully compute.
    Win win?

  • Many cases, even asymptomatics, are showing long-term organ damage. Wearing a mask is NOT a sign of subservience, it’s a fairly effective public safety measure. Refusing to wear one does not make you a brave patriot, and in fact it makes you the opposite of a hero, since you are placing your convenience above potential harm to others. I am grateful for the hard work of the medical people, and the essential workers who place themselves in jeopardy to maintain the sevices we all need and largely take for granted. Let’s not make their lives any harder. MAN or WOMAN UP. Stand back, wash your hands, wear a mask.

  • If you are real old, real fat, or have got medical issues then you are in danger of this flu. The rest of the folks need not worry too much, as any other flu, you get over it with symptoms ranging from none to flu like. Kids are not affected as real science demonstrates so if yo are in the first category, stay home and wait for better treatment or take a chance on the vaccines if they ever come. Leave the rest of us masked and alone. Don’t shut our lives down.

    • i guess 90 percent of the people are in danger…cuz about 90 percent of people are over weight and have some kind of health issue

  • Kids need to get back in school.I see kids on streets hanging with friends no masks no being apart. Teachers must go shopping and I know some that have traveled. So I would think school would be way safer

  • Every one will eventually get covid19 or the vaccine. I would rather get it and get it over with. We need the schools to open to spread the virus so we reach herd immunity and reopen faster. This lockdown is doing more harm than good. Let nature handle it, some people will die, but most will not. Many are losing all they worked so hard for: like homes, cars and property! This covid scam is just that, a scam to steal our properties

    • You make a good point.

      The economic collapse which is receiving cash infusions on a monthly basis, is taking notice of something profoundly stupid.

      Diane Fienstien moved several millions of cash investment in the stock market, away from harm, a couple days BEFORE the stock market crash. And there were others up near the top of the economic food chain who did the same.

      If you fear the effects of this virus, then include the insider knowledge.

      Does insider knowledge indicate a predilection of the monster pandemic? Yes, boy howdy!

  • Can’t wait to start seeing the workers comp claims start rolling in for all the teachers that are going to get infected.

    • In my 1911 I trust

      I believe they are given sick days for that. I have never heard of workers comp for someone catching a disease. Falling of a ladder at work, yes, catching a cold, or flu, or covid, not so much. So I predict $0 in workers comp doled out for covid.

  • if the school board cant have a face to face meeting dont even think about sending kids to school yet. when theybcan have a open face to face meeting than i will c if i send my kids to school yet

  • What I noticed is that nowhere in her letter does Dr. Frankovich explain the science supporting her (alleged) statement to school districts that three foot distancing is safe. As in, where are the placebo controlled peer reviewed studies that support her recommendation that three foot distancing is adequate social distancing to substantially reduce droplet travel, viral load, or transmission. CDPH said that it recommends six foot distancing to the extent practicable. If districts are using a hybrid attendance model with an A/B schedule, and a quarter of their students on distance learning, they can get much closer to six foot distancing in buildings. She doesn’t take responsibility for the school boards’ decision-making, but they are making their decisions on the basis of her recommendation. Dozens of school districts around the country have already had to quarantine just based on the staff presence on campus before students return. Putting all students back on campus, even with masks, improved ventilation, and three foot distancing is not safe.

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