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.

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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.”

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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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