By Kenny Choi

SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — Bay Area school officials are very aware of the possibility of outbreaks during the year. Protocols are in place, and local health departments are in close contact with each school if these outbreaks happen.

As schools reopen next week in San Mateo County, the COVID outbreak in the Brentwood Union School District in the East Bay has some parents wondering what to do.

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“If things get worse, probably take them out of school and probably keep them home,” said San Mateo resident Carmen Thames.

Health experts expect positivity rates at schools to mirror its community’s numbers.

Protocols including immediate contact tracing, testing, and reporting of cases to health departments are firmly in place to keep students and staff safe.

“If there is an exposure that will be contained as much as possible and school will continue in a normal fashion as much as possible,” said Chelsea Bonini of the San Mateo County Office of Education.

Despite concerns of the Delta variant spreading, starting next week in San Mateo County, kids will enter and exit without temperature checks, and be allowed to play outside without masks.

Ventilation systems in schools have been upgraded according to the district.

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“Parents should feel safe the districts have gone through many measures to make sure things are safe for students,” said Bonini.

Gone are physical distancing requirements, but indoor masking will be required statewide.

For many teachers, it’s been a long wait.

“I know there’s going to be kids in here,” said said South San Francisco Unified School District teacher Jacke Del Bianco. “We don’t have to do the packet thing or thinking that they’re not actually here. They’re going to be able to touch things and see my science Center and see what’s here go into the garden, so I am really looking forward to next week.”

Over the last 14 days, there’s been an 83% jump in cases in San Mateo County…making it that much more important to take extra precautionary measures for schools to stay fully open.

In this district, an “outbreak” is considered to be two or more cases.

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In the event a student or staff member tests positive, the cases are reported to the county health department, which determines the next steps.