SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — While schools districts across the San Francisco Bay Area have been suspending classes because of concerns over the growing number of omicron cases, Santa Clara County officials have issued an urgent plea on the importance of maintaining in-classroom instruction during the current surge.

Santa Clara County Public Health Director, Dr. Sara Cody was joined by Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, the county superintendent of schools, in a video posted on Youtube on Friday urging the need for in-class instruction to continue and attempting to quell the growing concern among parents and teachers.

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“We’re in a time that feels uncertain, but in a way we all are comfortable with uncertainty now,” Dr. Cody said. “We are in a large surge of omicron. And while it might feel uncertain and even a little bit scary, the good news is that the illness that we are seeing from omicron is milder… We have also learned that we need to find ways to coexist and live with COVID. We have learned a lot from the previous two years.”

“One of the things we have learned is the importance of balance. We have goals as a community and one of those goals, a very central goal, is to insure that our kids get a solid education,” she continued. “We’ve learned that in-person education is what they need.”

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Dewan voiced her agreement.

“Keeping our students, staff, and families safe remains our top priority,” Dewan said. “We are working alongside our school districts to protect in-person learning and practice the appropriate safety protocols.”

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“Our schools are committed to healthy environments for students and staff,” Dewan continued. “Schools throughout Santa Clara County have been working diligently to ensure safe classrooms and it remains critically important to use all proven layers of protection: masking, vaccinations and boosters for those that are eligible, testing, and remaining home when not feeling well.”