Coronavirus: Reopening of Orange County schools now delayed to Sept. 22, at the earliest

Orange County’s schools may be able to open in-person on Sept. 22 – not Sept. 8 – the Orange County Health Care Agency announced late Monday night via Twitter.

Under a new four-color, tiered monitoring system, Orange County is in the most restrictive of the tiers, but it’s on track to bump up to the next tier on Sept. 8.

The county would then remain for 14 days in that tier, county health officials confirmed with the the California Department of Public Health, according to the late-night Tweet.

That means that the earliest schools could welcome students to campuses is on Sept. 22.

When Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the new color-coded tier system on Friday, there was initially much confusion among Orange County educators as to what it meant for school reopenings. Then, the county’s health officer, Clayton Chau, tweeted that the switch to a new monitoring system did not reset the 14-day countdown and schools could still open as soon as Sept. 8, if lower case trends continue.

I confirmed with the State that has not changed for OC except for the update in the new blueprint usually occurs on Monday and the State posts on Tuesday, so the school reopening would be Tuesday, September 8, right after Labor Day weekend.

— OC Health Care Agency (@ochealth) August 28, 2020

On Saturday, county health officials cast doubt on that opening date. In a Tweet, officials said they requested clarification from schools on the 14-day wait cycle. “State indicated we would get credit for those days. More to come.”

Update re: Gov.’s new system. We’ve requested additional clarification from State re: schools as there are several counties, including #OC, who are in limbo as we were part way thru prior 14 day cycle to re-open. State indicated we would get credit for those days. More to come.

— OC Health Care Agency (@ochealth) August 29, 2020

The answer apparently came late Monday night.  The earliest Orange County schools can open to in-person learning will be Sept. 22.

County Health Officer received confirmation from @CAPublicHealth that #OC is on track to enter into Red Tier on Sept. 8. Providing we meet Red Tier metrics at that time, there will be a 14-day wait for all K-12 schools to be eligible for reopening, which could happen on Sept. 22.

— OC Health Care Agency (@ochealth) September 1, 2020

Al Mijares, county superintendent of schools, said in a statement Monday night: “I know how frustrating it is to be in this position, given the complex planning it takes to restart our campuses.”

“Dr. Chau has advocated strongly on our behalf, but the state was firm in its response.”

To learn more about the new color-coded monitoring system: Orange County lands in most restrictive tier of new coronavirus tracking system 

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These O.C. parents have a message for Gov. Newsom, teachers’ unions: ‘Open up the schools.’

A pro-charter school group brought some 75 parents, teachers and a couple of Orange County Board of Education members together Tuesday evening to rally for the reopening of schools that were closed because of coronavirus concerns.

Parents, they said, should be making the choice of whether their children learn on campus or online.

“Open up the schools,” the crowd briefly chanted.

  • Jeff Barke, right, leads a rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally calling for the reopening of schools was organized by the California Policy Center’s “Parent Union.” (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cecilia Iglesias, left, and Orange County Board of Education member Mari Barke, right, join others outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office during a ‘reopen the schools’ rally in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by the California Policy Center’s Parent Union, a pro-charter school group. Iglesias, a former Santa Ana councilwoman and school board member, works for the center and organized the meeting with Barke’s help. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Rhonda Furin, center, joins others during a reopen the schools rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by a group called “Parent Union.” It’s a pro-charter school group under the libertarian California Policy Center. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A man holds up a sign during a ‘reopen the schools’ rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by a“Parent Union.” (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • About 75 protesters gathered outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office for a ‘reopen the schools’ rally in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cecilia Iglesias protests outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office during a reopen the schools rally in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Iglesias, a former Santa Ana councilwoman and former School Board member, organized the rally as the head of the “Parent Union,” a pro-charter school group under the libertarian California Policy Center. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jeff Barke, a physician who advocates for the reopening of schools without social distancing or face masks, leads a ‘reopen the schools’ rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by the California Police Center’s Parent Union group, a pro-charter group that said parents should have the choice of whether their children can return to campus for in-person learning or continue with online education. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Protestors gather outside the Santa Ana Educators Association for a reopen the schools rally in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by the California Policy Center’s “Parent Union.” (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jeff Barke, right, leads a rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally calling for the reopening of schools was organized by the California Policy Center’s “Parent Union.” (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Flanked by American flags and punctuated with religious references and prayer, the rally was organized by the Orange County-based California Policy Center’s “Parent Union,” which pointedly chose to host its event in front of the offices of the Santa Ana teachers’ union.

“That’s why we’re here,” said Jeff Barke, an Orange County physician who regularly advocates for reopening schools without face masks or social distancing but mentioned neither safety precaution during the rally. Instead, he and others focused attention on teacher unions, which have advocated for resuming school online for now.

“We’re here to let them know we’re sick and tired of the schools being closed. It’s not based on science. It’s not based on statistics. It’s not based on facts. It’s based on union power. “

Barbara Pearson, president of the Santa Ana teachers’ union – the Santa Ana Educators’ Association – called the protest “another desperate grab for attention in their struggle to stay relevant.

“It has nothing to do with the reopening of schools or the students of Santa Ana.  Governor Newsom made the decision to close schools, not the unions.  Our priority is the safety of staff and students,” Pearson wrote in an e-mail Tuesday night.

On July 17, Newsom ordered that all public and private schools in counties seeing a spike in coronavirus cases could not reopen for in-person learning in the new academic year. That affected all of Orange County’s schools, except for those elementary schools that are applying for a waiver. (State officials unveiled the waiver application process Monday night; it’s likely to impact mostly private and parochial schools.)

During the rally Tuesday, a few teachers spoke about the detrimental effects of online learning on all students, but especially those who need special services. Students have regressed academically since schools shut down mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, they noted. And many who are in vulnerable situations, some speakers said, have been made even more vulnerable, exposing them to abuse and even suicide, because they don’t have their safe haven – school – to turn to.

Mari Barke, an elected member of the Orange County Board of Education and Jeff Barke’s wife, told the crowd, to “keep fighting” to reopen schools.

“Parents are in the best position to make decisions for their children,” Mari Barke said.

Last week, her board voted to file a lawsuit against Newsom to force a reopening of schools. Fellow Trustee Ken Williams also addressed the crowd, invoking God and talking about “the fight for the children.”

The rally was organized by Cecilia Iglesias, a former Santa Ana councilwoman and former School Board member who works for the California Policy Center, a libertarian think tank that focuses on issues like pension reform and charter schools. The Center runs four chapters of the Parent Union in Southern California. Iglesias said she hopes to hold similar rallies in other counties.

“Our call is a call to action, to let parents choose,” Iglesias said prior to the rally. “We’re suggesting: open up the schools, following safety guidelines, and give parents the choice.”

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Memo says Gov. Newsom will order all beaches closed

By Adam Beam and Stefanie Dazio

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed Friday after tens of thousands of people flocked to the seashore last weekend during a heatwave despite his stay-at-home order, according to a memo sent Wednesday evening to police chiefs around the state.

Eric Nuñez, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said it was sent to give chiefs time to plan ahead of Newsom’s expected announcement Thursday.

A message to the governor’s office seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Newsom this week targeted beachgoers in Orange and Ventura counties, calling them an example of “what not to do” if the state wants to continue its progress fighting the coronavirus. While many beaches and trails throughout the state have been closed for weeks, others have remained open with warnings for visitors to practice social distancing and more have reopened.

In Newport Beach, some 80,000 visitors hit the beach over the weekend, although lifeguards said most people exercised social distancing. With criticism swirling, the Newport Beach City Council met Tuesday and rejected a proposal to close the beaches for the next three weekends.

Nearby Laguna Beach approved a limited reopening. Beaches across San Diego County reopened Monday, with a few exceptions.

The Laguna Beach Police Department is working with the city’s Marine Safety Department to interpret the memo, Police Sgt. Jim Cota said.

The governor’s order is sure to draw fire as pressure is building to ease restrictions and slowly reopen the state. Virus hospitalizations have been virtually flat for several weeks in California and the state has dodged the dreaded massive surge of patients experienced by New York and several other states.

This is not going to end well.

Californians are not children you can ground when they don’t “behave” the way you want.

MM https://t.co/ySco3qs22F

— Melissa Melendez (@asmMelendez) April 30, 2020

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said in a statement he believes Newsom has the power to close beaches in the county, but “it is not wise to do so.”

He said Orange County residents have been cooperative with state and county restrictions.

“I fear that this overreaction from the state will undermine that cooperative attitude and our collective efforts to fight the disease, based on the best available medical information,” his statement said.

Dazio reported from Los Angeles.

Register reporter Eric Licas contributed to this story.

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Memo says California governor will order all beaches closed

By Adam Beam and Stefanie Dazio

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed Friday after tens of thousands of people flocked to the seashore last weekend during a heatwave despite his stay-at-home order, according to a memo sent Wednesday evening to police chiefs around the state.

Eric Nuñez, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said it was sent to give chiefs time to plan ahead of Newsom’s expected announcement Thursday.

A message to the governor’s office seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Newsom this week targeted beachgoers in Orange and Ventura counties, calling them an example of “what not to do” if the state wants to continue its progress fighting the coronavirus. While many beaches and trails throughout the state have been closed for weeks, others have remained open with warnings for visitors to practice social distancing and more have reopened.

In Newport Beach, some 80,000 visitors hit the beach over the weekend, although lifeguards said most people exercised social distancing. With criticism swirling, the Newport Beach City Council met Tuesday and rejected a proposal to close the beaches for the next three weekends.

Nearby Laguna Beach approved a limited reopening. Beaches across San Diego County reopened Monday, with a few exceptions.

The Laguna Beach Police Department is working with the city’s Marine Safety Department to interpret the memo, Police Sgt. Jim Cota said.

The governor’s order is sure to draw fire as pressure is building to ease restrictions and slowly reopen the state. Virus hospitalizations have been virtually flat for several weeks in California and the state has dodged the dreaded massive surge of patients experienced by New York and several other states.

This is not going to end well.

Californians are not children you can ground when they don’t “behave” the way you want.

MM https://t.co/ySco3qs22F

— Melissa Melendez (@asmMelendez) April 30, 2020

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said in a statement he believes Newsom has the power to close beaches in the county, but “it is not wise to do so.”

He said Orange County residents have been cooperative with state and county restrictions.

“I fear that this overreaction from the state will undermine that cooperative attitude and our collective efforts to fight the disease, based on the best available medical information,” his statement said.

Dazio reported from Los Angeles.

Register reporter Eric Licas contributed to this story.

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Tips to handle coronavirus volatility in the market, at home

With the emergence of the coronavirus, we find ourselves in a global pandemic of proportions that, in our lifetime, we have only watched in movies.

Long forgotten by most, it has been 102 years since the Spanish flu of 1918. It was the deadliest flu in modern history, infecting more than a third of the global population at the time.

While we hope the coronavirus impact will never reach the extremes of the Spanish flu, the disruption is changing our daily routines. How do we manage through this distraction?

Stay focused

Our daily focus should not change because this disruption is changing our normal routines. Families find themselves at home together with children learning in a virtual classroom and the parents working remotely. This change is unsettling, filling us with anxiety, fear, and a variety of other emotions.

To minimize the distractions in your day, continue to closely follow the same schedule you had in place before this all began. Make lists daily as a reminder of the tasks you need to accomplish to stay on track.

Implement changes that offer stability in your daily life. For example, designate specific workspaces for you and your family members, take breaks and eat lunch together at the same time.

Stay prepared

One takeaway from the coronavirus pandemic is to plan and be prepared for the next disruption. This is a reminder of why it is important to keep at least six months of cash reserves in your bank account.

Many people have been laid off for a minimum of two weeks, some employees have lost their jobs and many small businesses may permanently close. The purpose of having a cash reserve on hand is to have the ability to access money in a financial crisis without incurring additional debt or selling out or your investments or retirement account when the market is down.

If you are not prepared financially for this pandemic, your primary focus going forward should be on building an emergency cash reserve.

Keep enough food in your pantry and freezer to last several weeks without needing to make a grocery store run. In addition to groceries, store enough pet food, paper goods, baby items, water and cleaning supplies to last the same period.

We are fortunate that in the U.S., our grocery store shelves are not usually bare. But in some countries, bare shelves are a normal experience. A month ago, we would never have thought that we would be facing the dilemma of empty shelves, followed by waiting in long lines to check out. We have quickly learned that this is our new reality.

Although we live in the U.S. where resources are normally readily available, it is wise in the current circumstances to plan and stay prepared.

Stay invested

The feeling can be gut-wrenching as we watch the stock market indices drop. Most people feel some sort of anxiety when this happens, especially if this continues for an extended period, such as we are currently experiencing. Immediately, we ask ourselves if we are going to run out of money.

While this period is very unsettling, it is important to remember that the market will turn around. Our instinct in a volatile market is to sell out to preserve assets and avoid any additional losses. That approach might yield favorable results if we knew specifically what day to re-enter the market. But we don’t, so hold tight.

The annualized return on the S&P from Jan. 1, 1987 to Dec. 31, 2019, was 11.28 percent. Over this 32-year period, if you were out of the market during the 10 best-performing days, your annual return would have been reduced to 8.85%. If you were out of the market during the 50 best days of this 11,680-day period, your annual return would have reduced to 3.40%.

Staying in the market yields better long-term results.

Stay diversified

It is important to maintain a diversified portfolio so that when the stock market drops 30%, your overall financial portfolio does not drop the same amount.

If you are diversified, you are not holding or invested in a single stock, or in a handful of stocks and nothing else. If you are holding stock in the company you work for, a general rule is to hold no more than 10% of that stock in your portfolio.

In most cases, an investor should have a variety of equity (stocks) and fixed income (bonds) in their portfolio. The best allocation or mix of investments depends on your age and risk tolerance level.

The longer your timeline to retirement, the greater the opportunity to hold a higher concentration of equities. Managing risk as you age means gradually decreasing equity positions and increasing the allocation to fixed income.

Stay connected

Remember to make time right now to stay virtually connected with your family, friends and neighbors. People need one another to support each other through periods of disruption.

Call your family members to listen to them talk about how the pandemic has affected them. Check on elderly neighbors to see if they anything from the grocery store. Stay in contact with your friends, through texting, Zoom or phone calls.

Reset your life

Use this period as an opportunity to spend quality time with your family. Since we live in Southern California, most of us have at least an extra hour or so free now that we’ve eliminated our daily commute.

Turn off the electronics for a set period to spend time with your family. Take this time to do some meaningful activities together. Take a walk outside, plan a meal and cook together, plant a garden, build a puzzle or play games. The list can be as long as your imagination.

Sometimes, we get caught up in the frenzy of life and forget about what is truly important. This pandemic is providing us with the opportunity to reset our values while supporting our family, friends, and neighbors on this journey.

Teri Parker CFP® is a vice president for CAPTRUST Financial Advisors. She has practiced in the field of financial planning and investment management since 2000. Reach her via email at Teri.parker@captrustadvisors.com.

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