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School risk level in SA drops to 'low' after positivity rate falls below 5 percent

The green zone indicates that in-person instruction should take place following CDC guidelines to reduce community transmission, according to Metro Health.

SAN ANTONIO — Editor's note: The above video was originally published on September 10, 2020.

The School Risk Level Indicator for the Bexar County area has dropped to the lowest zone, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced Tuesday.

According to the city's health directive regarding reopening schools, the "green zone" indicates that "in-person instruction should take place with CDC guidance for minimal to moderate community transmission. This should include physical distancing by older children and adults, frequent hand hygiene, and face coverings during high-contact activities." 

At all risk levels, the directive states, students and staff schould stay home if they're feeling sick, and COVID-19 sympotmatic people schould be referred to testing.

City officials said schools need to make sure they have the capacity to enact social distancing rules as well as the CDC's guidelines before opening to full occupancy.

The move comes one day after city officials announced the local positivity rate had dropped below 5 percent. Bexar County remains at a "low" COVID-19 risk level. a metric based on the area's 2-week decline in cases, testing capacity, contact tracing, hospital trends, doubling rate, positivity rate, and hospital stress.

Credit: Metro Health

In August, the risk level dropped to the "moderate" level, allowing schools to bring special-needs students and those with less access to resources back onto campuses for in-person learning. Schools were capped at 25% occupancy, per Metro Health guidelines.