San Mateo County Health Officer Issues School Operations Modification Order

Redwood City, Calif. – San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow has issued a School Operations Modification Order that will take effect on Monday, March 16, 2020, and remain in force through Friday, April 3, 2020, unless amended by the County or State health officer.

The order requires all schools to dismiss students from regular attendance and encourages schools and school districts to implement at-home learning models if feasible. At-home learning might involve online content, paper packets, extended readings and research, at-home projects, or any number of options.

The order allows for administrative functions at school sites to continue. Facilities may be used by faculty and staff to manage at-home learning efforts, including technology support for students and staff, and for those school districts that provide free and reduced meals to students to continue to do so.

“Schools have anticipated and been preparing for this order for weeks,” says San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee. “Moving an entire system to at-home or distance learning is highly complex and weighty. Our districts and schools are ready for this transition, and I applaud every member of our educational community for demonstrating incredible focus, strength, and courage in this challenging time. It is certainly the time to come together in support of our young people.”

Parents and students who need access to school facilities to retrieve essential items, including medications kept by a school nurse or health aide, should contact their school district or their school.

The School Operations Modification Order applies to all public (including charter) and private institutions that educate students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade operated within San Mateo County but does not include homeschooling. It also includes adult schools operated by school districts and programs for special education students up to age 22.

Only those preschools run by a public district are under the order, though independently operated preschools and childcare programs may make their own decisions about modifying operations.

The full text of the order is available here:

For more information, visit For updates from the San Mateo County Emergency Operations Center, subscribe here:

Source: County of San Mateo’s Joint Information Center, (650) 779-9939,

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