LAFAYETTE (KPIX 5) – As some Bay Area counties move towards the less restrictive Orange Tier in the state’s reopening plan, some families are pushing for in-person learning to resume.

Parents within the Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda school districts rallied Tuesday, saying no more classes over Zoom.

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“To our teachers, we miss you, our students miss you and can’t wait to get back in the classroom,” a parent told the crowd.

Lamorinda parents hold protest calling for a resumption of in-person learning, October 13, 2020. (CBS)

Lamorinda parents hold protest calling for a resumption of in-person learning, October 13, 2020. (CBS)

Another Lamorinda parent told KPIX 5 about the virus, “It’s still deadly, it’s still unknown and we get that. But I think a lot of families are saying we want to decide for ourselves what our comfort level is.”

But school district officials in the East Bay and the Bay Area say reopening involves a plan and following safety protocols.

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“And right now, there is a lot of backlogs on orders for PPE and whatnot,” said Pleasanton Unified School District Superintendent Dr. David Haglund. “So we may have a wonderful plan that we’re ready to implement, but until we can get those supplies in our hands, we have to just keep pushing that date further out.”

On Tuesday, Alameda and Santa Clara counties became the latest Bay Area counties to enter the Orange Tier. As counties become able to loosen restrictions, medical professionals said it needs to be a slow transition during the reopening process.

Dr. John Swartzberg, emeritus professor of infectious diseases at UC Berkeley and UCSF said, “It does make sense to start with younger kids, do it in a way that mitigates as much risk as possible. And you’re dealing with a population that, perhaps, less likely to get infected.”

A return to school will mean wearing masks, staggered learning days, smaller class sizes and there will be some distance learning online.

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Swartzberg went on to say, “But we have to temper that with knowing when we open up things too fast, we’re just back in the same place. So I think if we do it as cautiously as possible, in the long run, businesses will be able to open and stay open.”

Juliette Goodrich