BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Berkeley middle and high schools have the option to reopen Monday if they have a plan and follow guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19, city officials said Thursday.

Berkeley’s health officer is giving the OK because of lower case rates along with healthy choices, according to city officials.

Elementary schools were given the choice to reopen Oct. 13. On March 17, all schools closed when a health order went into effect.

“COVID-19 remains a threat, but science, data and the generally good adherence to public health guidance allows the reopening of this socioemotional and educational priority for children,” Berkeley’s Health Officer Lisa Hernandez said in a statement.

“The daily preventive actions people took helped lower case rates,” she said. “As more public activities open, those actions become even more critical.”

City officials said that families who send their children to school should try to lower their overall exposure to COVID-19 by limiting other public activities, such as slumber parties or play dates.

Schools that want to reopen must create a plan that complies with the state’s Industry Guidance for Schools and School-Based Programs as well as Berkeley’s health order.

That plan must be put on the school’s website and shared with families before a reopening occurs.

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