Weekly Update – In-Person Instruction and Orange County COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Info

Friday, May 7, 2021

Dear Families,

This week, Orange County’s COVID-19 case rates fell to 2.4, not yet low enough for the 2.0 case rate required to move from the Orange to the Yellow Tier.  

At our schools, positive cases of COVID-19 remain extremely low and isolated. We continue to see evidence that our health and safety protocols are effectively working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with no on-campus spread. We continue to look forward to our in-person commencement and graduation ceremonies which will adhere to California Department of Public Health guidance for large gatherings including restricted capacity based on tier, masks, and physical distancing, among other precautions. School continues to be the safest place for students to learn. If you missed it, click here to watch our safe schools video from Superintendent Gabriela Mafi. 

As a reminder, GGUSD will return to 5 full days of in-person instruction at ALL schools during the 2021-2022 school year. GGUSD will not be able to continue offering a school-based distance learning option next school year. To those families with children who remain at home on distance learning since last year, we strongly urge you to contact your schools for options to come back to school now and see for yourself how school is the safest place for your children to be and the best place to learn.  Families wishing to continue with a distance learning model may apply for our Virtual Learning Academy through May 21. Space is limited and depending on interest, an interview process may be implemented. 

Across the community, Orange County Health Care Agency continues to ramp up community-wide efforts for free COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities.

Testing and Vaccination Updates

  • To make COVID-19 vaccinations as convenient as possible, vaccinations are now available for both walk-in individuals (without appointments) and for those with confirmed appointments. A list of sites, hours of operation, and vaccine information can be found at www.CovidVaccineFacts.com or by calling the County’s COVID-19 hotline at (714) 834-2000. 

  • Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is available for individuals 16 years and older and Moderna and Johnson & Johnson is available for individuals age 18 and older. News reports have indicated that the FDA is planning to grant emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children age 12-15 as early as next week. As a reminder, children cannot get vaccinated without parental consent and must be accompanied by a parent/guardian when getting the vaccine. COVID-19 vaccinations are not mandatory for anyone in California including students.

  • Individuals wishing to make appointments can now do so by calling the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000, following the language prompts and pressing “1.” 

  • The County of Orange will close its Super POD sites at the Anaheim Convention Center, OC Fair & Event Center, and Soka University, as well as at Santa Ana College, on June 6, 2021, and shift operations to an expanding network of neighborhood-based mobile PODs. The last Moderna, first-dose appointments will be offered at County Super PODs on May 8, 2021. The last Pfizer, first-dose appointments will be offered at County Super PODs on May 15, 2021. The HCA will continue to meet all second-dose obligations. All County Super and community PODs will offer one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine immediately through close of business on June 5, 2021

  • The Orange County Health Care Agency continues to offer saliva or nasal swab COVID-19 test kits which residents can order to receive free by mail to their homes.  Neighborhood and state walk-up testing sites are also offered throughout Orange County. Click here for more about testing. 

As always, thank you for your continued partnership as we work together to keep our schools safe for all students!