Coronavirus Updates

Follow @lahstalon on Instagram for more updates. 

Monday, August 29 — Government to end free COVID-19 test distribution

The government announced it will be suspending its system to order free COVID-19 tests this Friday, September 2. Visit this link for the full story.

Thursday, August 11 — CDC loosens COVID-19 restrictions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased nationwide COVID-19 guidelines. Visit this link for the full story.

Wednesday, May 25 — COVID-19 cases spike across the District

COVID-19 cases have spiked significantly over the past month across Mountain View–Los Altos District schools. Visit this link for the full story.

Thursday, May 19 — Government to distribute free COVID-19 tests

The United States government announced that all American households can order another round of COVID-19 tests at no cost last Monday, May 16. Orders now include eight COVID-19 rapid antigen tests instead of four.

Tests can be ordered at A name and shipping address is necessary, and users can enter an email to track their order, but no payment or health insurance information is required. Tests can also be ordered through the toll-free hotline (800) 232-0233, or at (888) 720-7489 for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. The hotline is open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST. Three orders of at-home tests, or 16 tests total (eight new tests in addition to eight tests previously,) are allowed per household. Tests will ship in 7–12 days of ordering. 

Tests can also be obtained through community-based testing sites and at Los Altos High School. Health insurance also reimburses the cost of eight tests per month. 

Matthew Kim

Tuesday, April 6 —LAHS to distribute COVID-19 tests tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Mountain View–Los Altos School District will distribute rapid COVID-19 antigen tests to students and faculty during their first period classes. Those without a first period will be able to pick up their tests later during the day. Visit this link for the full story

Matthew Kim

Tuesday, March 1 — Statewide mask mandate lifted

California is no longer requiring masks in schools and childcare centers starting Saturday, March 12; it is unclear how Santa Clara County will proceed. Visit this link for the full story.

Matthew Kim

Tuesday, March 1 — California introduces SMARTER plan to combat COVID-19

Following the rollback of many COVID-19 protectionary measures, including indoor mask mandates, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a new plan last week — the first of its kind in the nation — to move away from a COVID-19 “crisis mentality” and to treat the virus as a part of normal life. The plan, dubbed the SMARTER plan for its seven areas of focus (shots, masks, awareness, readiness, testing, education and rx/prescription treatments), will focus on preparing for and responding to future outbreaks and variants of COVID-19 while cutting back on emergency measures enacted throughout the last two years. Visit this link for the full story. 

Matthew Kim

Friday, February 25 — Santa Clara County to end indoor mask mandate on March 2; schools unaffected

Santa Clara County will lift its indoor mask mandate next Wednesday, March 2. Visit this link for the full story. 

Matthew Kim

Friday, February 18 — LAHS mandatory antigen test distribution

The Mountain View–Los Altos School District distributed mandatory rapid COVID-19 antigen tests to students and faculty during their first period classes this morning in order to monitor COVID-19 cases after winter break (February 21–25). Students and staff are required to take these tests on specified dates, and those without a first period can pick up tests in the administration office at the front of the library. 

The first test is to be taken three days before returning to school, on Saturday, February 26, and the second test is to be taken on Monday, February 28, the day before school restarts. Instructions for administering the test are given inside of the test kit, or can be found by scanning the QR code on the packaging. Reporting test results and quarantining in accordance with the COVID Designee FAQ is mandatory if the test returns positive.

COVID-19 testing will also be available during the break at the District office on Thursday, February 24,  and Friday, February 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Matthew Kim

Tuesday, February 15 — Santa Clara County keeps mask mandate

Despite statewide changes, Santa Clara County will continue current indoor mask mandates and regulations until case levels fall further. 

California announced a reversion of many of its temporary COVID-19 measures last Monday, February 7, increasing event capacity, loosening hospital and nursing home visitation requirements and removing a statewide mask mandate. Mask requirements are also being lifted across local Bay Area counties, including San Francisco and San Mateo. However, the county has elected to keep its mask mandates in place for several more weeks, citing high community transmission rates.

“Ultimately, our job is to follow the science to keep our community as safe as possible,” County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said. “We cannot lift the indoor mask requirement with the community transmission rates as high as they are now.”

The county will remove its mandate when the seven-day case average falls to 550 and when hospitalizations are “low and stable,” according to Cody.

Matthew Kim

Wednesday, February 9 — California lifts indoor mask mandate for vaccinated individuals

California announced a statewide rollback of many of its temporary COVID-19 measures on Monday. The universal indoor mask mandate, implemented in December in an attempt to curb transmission of the Omicron variant, will be lifted beginning February 15, although schools will continue to require masks. The state will also increase capacity for indoor and outdoor events and loosen visitation requirements for long-term care facilities and hospitals.

As the Omicron variant surged beginning last December, California changed policies in an attempt to control the virus, but these rules will be struck down as cases decline across the state, after California’s caseload has improved and following a national trend of similar policy changes.

However, previous rules are still in place across most counties, including Santa Clara County. 

“We are looking at our data and where we are in the omicron wave and don’t have a decision [regarding masking] to share at this point,” County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said.

Mask Mandate

Vaccinated individuals in most indoor public settings will no longer be required to wear their masks beginning next week. However, current masking rules still apply to unvaccinated individuals. Masks will also be required in high-risk areas like public transit, healthcare settings, long-term care facilities, and schools, among other locations. 

Surgical masks and respirators, like N95 respirators, are still recommended by the state for normal use, and business owners still have the discretion to determine whether customers should wear masks and how to verify customers’ vaccination status. 

Venue Requirements

Beginning in December, many temporary COVID-19 requirements were instituted for “Mega Events,” or large indoor and outdoor events. Attendees at Mega Events — defined as events with greater than 500 attendees indoors or 5,000 outdoors — were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. However, starting February 15, vaccination and testing will only be recommended for outdoor events, and the capacity of Mega Events will be expanded from 500 to 1,000 indoor attendees and 5,000 to 10,000 outdoor attendees. Masking will still be required for unvaccinated individuals. 

Nursing Homes and Hospitals

Effective immediately, restrictions laid out at the end of last year pertaining to visitation at healthcare and long-term care facilities will be relaxed. COVID-19 testing and an extra booster shot of the vaccine will no longer be required for visitors – facilities will now allow fully vaccinated individuals to enter, as well as unvaccinated individuals with a negative COVID-19 test. 

Matthew Kim

Monday, December 13 — First case of Omicron variant detected in Santa Clara County

An individual in Santa Clara County has tested positive for the COVID-19 variant Omicron, officials confirmed on Friday, December 10.

The Omicron variant was first detected in Botswana on Thursday, November 11, and then in South Africa on Sunday, November 14. The first confirmed case in the United States was reported on Wednesday, December 1, and as of Friday, December 10, there have been 14 confirmed cases in California.

The individual in Santa Clara County who has contracted Omicron was fully vaccinated but did not receive the booster, and recently returned from domestic travel from another state. Close contacts of the individual have been notified, and they are now in isolation.

“It is a new variant, but we know what to do, and that’s to continue with all our layers of protection: vaccinate, boost, mask, ventilate, distance and test often,” Public Health Director for Santa Clara County Dr. Sara Cody said.

In Santa Clara County, 80 percent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated with two doses, while 39 percent of eligible residents have received the booster shot. For 18–49 year olds, 20 percent of the eligible population have received the booster shot.

Health officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated and receive a booster shot to add a layer of protection against the new COVID-19 variants.

Audrey Zhu

Monday, December 13 — FDA approves booster shot for individuals aged 16–17

The Food and Drug Administration approved the COVID booster shot for eligible 16–17-year-olds on Thursday, December 9. In order to be eligible, the individual must have received the second dose of the Pfizer-Biontech shot at least six months prior to the booster shot.

Individuals 18 and older have been eligible for the booster shot since November 19 and around a quarter of those eligible have already received the booster shot. The decision to approve the booster shot was made to protect individuals against the spread of the new fast-spreading variant called Omicron. The booster shot will increase the effectiveness of the vaccine, as the new variant is not well protected by only the first two doses.

“Although we don’t have all the answers on the Omicron variant, initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said.

President Joe Biden also encourages those who are eligible to get the booster immediately, calling the approval of the booster shot “even more great news from the FDA and CDC”

In September, the FDA rejected Pfizer’s request to approve the booster shot for adolescents, fearing that the booster shot would increase the risk of developing a heart condition known as myocarditis. However, on Thursday, December 9, health officials deemed that the added protection the booster shot offers outweighs the risks.

As for whether a fourth shot will be necessary in the future, government and health officials are continuing to assess the situation, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Audrey Zhu

Monday, October 25 — District alters on-site testing policies

Following close contact notifications sent to 245 Los Altos High School students yesterday, the Mountain View–Los Altos School District has designated days for exposed class periods to be tested, with odd class periods recommended to test on Monday, October 25 and even class periods recommended to test on Tuesday, October 26. Students exposed in other on-campus activities were also notified.

The potential exposures occurred over the period of five days from Monday, October 18 to Friday, October 22. An additional wave of notifications was delivered following the initial round as the District received more information regarding the exposure.

All exposed individuals — regardless of vaccination status — are also encouraged to test a second time on Monday, November 1, although test results don’t have to be reported to the District. Students who would like to opt out of all testing will be required to quarantine at home for 10 days.

Natalie Wei

Friday, October 22 — CDC endorses COVID-19 booster shot 

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the COVID-19 Moderna and Johnson and Johnson booster shot on Thursday afternoon, following FDA approval yesterday, October 20.  Anyone who has previously gotten a COVID 19 vaccine from any manufacturer and is eligible will be able to get the booster shot for more immunity starting tomorrow, October 22. 

The CDC also approved mixing and matching vaccines, which means that people who received their first dose from one manufacturer can get their booster shot from a different manufacturer, making it more convenient to get the booster shot.

The approval follows the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee’s unanimous decision last week to recommend booster shots for the elderly and high-risk individuals who got the Moderna vaccine, and individuals 18 and older who got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

Those who have the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are highly encouraged to get the booster shot, since the vaccine itself only has a 66 percent effectiveness rate.

The booster shot will be offered to those who are eligible in local pharmacies and centers. To book an appointment for a vaccine site near you, visit this link. 

Audrey Zhu

Sunday, October 10 — Bay Area loosens indoor mask mandate restrictions based on new guidelines

Nine Bay Area counties lifted the indoor mask mandate for jurisdictions that meet the following requirements:

  • The county has been in the yellow COVID-19 transmission tier for at least three weeks.
  • The county has a low number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, which will be decided on by health officers.
  • 80 percent of the population in the county are fully vaccinated and have passed the eight-week window since a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for children under the age of 12. The eight-week window will allow enough time for kids to get the two doses with three weeks in between, as well as an additional week after the two doses are administered to be fully immune.

Currently, no county within the Bay Area meets all three qualifications to lift the mask mandate. Santa Clara County is still in the orange tier, but COVID-19 cases are steadily decreasing and hospitalization rates are low.

“Essentially we want to ensure that we have many layers of prevention,” Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said. “We want to make sure that the vaccination layer is really robust before we peel back the masking layer.”

The jurisdictions that adopted these guidelines include Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and Berkeley. Solano County is the only county within the Bay Area that has not implemented a mask mandate for indoor public spaces previously and will continue not to do so; according to Solano County health officer Dr. Bela Matyas, mask mandates do not show any benefit.

Even if the mask mandate gets lifted in eligible jurisdictions, individual businesses can still impose their own mask mandates.

Audrey Zhu

Sunday, October 3 — California mandates COVID vaccine for K–12 students

California is mandating that all K–12 students receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting the 2022–2023 school year, pending Food and Drug Administration approval.

Governor Gavin Newsom issued the mandate last Friday, October 1, exempting those unable to receive the vaccine due to religious or medical reasons. The rules for such situations have not been written yet. Those who are unvaccinated won’t be able to return to in-person learning.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be given to children aged 12–15 under an emergency use authorization from the FDA, and is still in the testing stages for children aged 5–11. The vaccine mandate will go into effect once the different age groups have been granted full FDA approval, most likely on July 1, 2022 for seventh to 12th grade students, and January 1, 2023 for kindergarten to sixth grade students.

Newsom hopes that this vaccine mandate will keep schools open and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“Vaccines work,” Newsom said. “It’s why California leads the country in preventing school closures and has the lowest case rates.”

Audrey Zhu

Tuesday, August 31 — District expands on-site testing 

Los Altos High School is offering additional on-site COVID-19 testing opportunities that started yesterday and will continue until Saturday, September 4. 

This expansion stems from two COVID-19 exposures at LAHS in the past week and aims to help students — especially those who received a close contact notification — get tested. 

Testing Schedule: 

  • Monday and Friday: LAHS and MVHS testing at lunch
  • Tuesday and Thursday: LAHS and 7:30–1 p.m., Adult School 9:30–10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: LAHS 7:30–11 a.m., MVHS testing at lunch

Testing will take place at the athletic equipment room adjacent to the football field, close to the portables. There will be signs by the front parking lot to direct students to the testing spot. 

To read more about MVLA on-site testing, please visit this link

Audrey Zhu

Monday, August 30 — Update on on-site testing

Steps for on-site testing at Los Altos High School 

  1. Pre-register online at or register in person (one-time registration for all future tests). 
    1. If you are under 18 you must be registered by a parent or guardian.
  2. Bring Mountain View–Los Altos school ID or government-issued photo ID. 

There will be extra testing from 4–6 p.m. today to meet demand from testing during lunch. Plan to arrive between 4–5 p.m. to ensure you will get tested before closure at 6 p.m.

Testing Schedule:

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday: LAHS and MVHS testing at lunch 
  • Tuesday and Thursday: LAHS and MVHS testing from 7:30 to 9 a.m., MVLA Adult School testing from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Close contacts and MVLA employees receive first priority for testing. Other students will be tested on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

Testing at LAHS has been moved to the storage shed next to the football field gate along the 700s building. Testing at MVHS will take place in front of the District office. Testing at the Adult School will be located in the parking lot under the tent.

Olivia Hewang

Sunday, August 29 — FDA fully approves Pfizer vaccine 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, August 23, meaning that the vaccine has been deemed safe by the FDA after evaluation of its safety and effectiveness.  

The Pfizer vaccine has been available to individuals 16 years of age and older since December 11, 2020 and became available to individuals aged 12–15 on May 10, under an emergency use authorization. 

During the FDA approval process, data was collected from approximately 20,000 vaccine and 20,000 placebo recipients; the FDA concluded that the Pfizer vaccine is 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. 

The FDA and Center of Disease Control and Prevention are still continuing to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine, and the FDA is requiring BioNTech — the manufacturer of the vaccine — to continue conducting studies in order to evaluate the risks of the vaccine. 

Since the vaccine is now FDA approved, U.S. health officials are hoping to see an increase in vaccinated individuals.  

“While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated,” acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement to the FDA. “Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

Audrey Zhu

Thursday, August 26 —  Students receive COVID-19 exposure notice with updated procedure

Some students received a close contact COVID-19 exposure notification this morning, providing separate guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated students based on the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 testing decision tree that the Mountain View–Los Altos School District has adopted. 

Vaccinated students must confirm their vaccination status at this link and take a COVID-19 test on Monday, August 30.  If their results are negative, vaccinated students should submit their results here, and if positive they must report their result immediately to Associate Superintendent Leyla Benson by calling (650) 940-4675. 

Students who are unvaccinated must test immediately. There was a special testing session tonight at the Los Altos High School football field from 4:30 to 6 p.m.. They must also test again on Monday, August 30, along with vaccinated students, and submit negative results of both tests to the district here

In the notice sent on Saturday, August 14, all close contacts — regardless of vaccination status — were instructed to test immediately and were required to stop participating in extracurricular activities until they had proof of two negative COVID-19 tests. In the updated guidance, only unvaccinated students are required to stop participation in extracurricular activities for one week.

The complete updated close contact procedure can be found here.

Nina Crofts

Monday, August 23 — What you need to know about on-site testing at MVLA campuses

  1. Pre-register online at or register in person (one-time registration for all future tests).
    1. If you are under 18 you must be registered by a parent or guardian.
  2. Bring Mountain View–Los Altos school ID or government-issued photo ID.

Testing Schedule:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday: LAHS and MVHS testing at lunch 

Tuesday and Thursday: LAHS and MVHS testing from 7:30 to 9 a.m., MVLA Adult School testing from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Close contacts and MVLA employees receive first priority for testing. Other students will be tested on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

Testing at LAHS will take place in the athletic trainer’s office adjacent to the baseball field. Testing at MVHS will take place in front of the District office. Testing at the Adult School will be located in the parking lot under the tent. 

Monday, August 30: This article has been corrected to include the most recent process for obtaining a COVID-19 test at MVLA campuses and the correct location. 

Olivia Hewang

Sunday, August 22 — LAHS and MVHS offer on-site COVID-19 testing

Los Altos High School and Mountain View High School will begin offering on-site COVID-19 testing five days a week starting tomorrow, August 23. 

Testing will be offered during lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 7:30–9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In order to get tested, students must bring a photo ID and signed permission forms, which will be used as a ticket. Staff and students who have had close contact exposure to COVID-19 will be tested first. Other students will be tested on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

Mountain View–Los Altos District staff also clarified that the vaccination status of students — which parents were asked to report in an email sent out on Thursday, August 19 — will be used to make quarantine decisions in case of COVID-19 exposure. Superintendent Nellie Meyer emphasized that students’ vaccination information, like other medical records, will be kept confidential. Proof of student’s vaccination status is currently not required.  

Associate Superintendent Leyla Benson reported that unvaccinated and vaccinated students will be placed under different restrictions if exposed to COVID-19 based on a quarantine decision tree from the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health. 

More COVID-19 related information can be found on the District’s FAQ’s page. Students can report their vaccination status at this link.

Olivia Hewang and Audrey Zhu

Thursday, August 19 — CDC recommends COVD-19 booster shot for immunocompromised individuals 

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all immunocompromised individuals vaccinated more than 28 days ago get the COVID-19 booster shot, which will be available starting Monday, September 20. The Biden Administration recommended the additional shot, but had to wait for CDC and Food and Drug Administration approval before administering it. 

The booster shot — a third vaccine shot to increase protection from the virus —  is also available to the public, and health officials conclude that it is necessary to stop the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. 

“Current protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement released yesterday. 

The booster shot currently only supports the Pfizer and Moderna options, while health officials await more data before approving the Johnson and Johnson booster. 

Those vaccinated the earliest — seniors, health care providers and essential workers — will be the first to be eligible for the booster shot. The FDA still has to review data for those vaccinated recently and children aged 12–17 to determine their eligibility.

To read more about the booster shot and statement given by health officials, visit this link. 

Audrey Zhu

Saturday, August 14 — COVID-19 exposure at LAHS during first week of school

Multiple Los Altos High School and Freestyle Academy students received emails instructing them to take “immediate” action in regard to a “close contact” COVID-19 exposure this morning. Students and teachers who received this email were potentially exposed by a student in one of their classes who tested positive for COVID-19 on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 11.

The Mountain View–Los Altos District was informed of the positive case after the test results came back, and emailed students and teachers who had close contact with the student this morning, although they were unable to say how many students. Read the full story here.

Kaavya Butaney

Monday, June 21 — Santa Clara County rescinds May 18 coronavirus mask guidance

Santa Clara County today rescinded its order regarding face coverings  issued on Tuesday, May 18; this eliminates face covering requirements for all fully vaccinated individuals, in light of new state guidelines. 

Once businesses complete a second round of obtaining employee vaccination status as initially mandated in the order issued on May 18, fully vaccinated workers — those who have documentation of receiving either the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 14 days prior — are no longer required to wear face coverings. This data is not reported to the County. 

If businesses haven’t completed the determination of vaccination status for their workers, the May 18 guidelines of face coverings  and state specific guidance still apply. If workers choose not to declare their status, they will be considered unvaccinated. 

Although the county’s vaccination rates are amongst the highest in the nation, face coverings are required for all individuals in schools, healthcare facilities, childcare, youth settings, public transportation, jails and emergency shelters. 

To book a vaccine appointment, visit this link, and to read more about the update, visit this link. 

Anika Sikka

Tuesday, June 15 — Santa Clara County to reopen and limit physical distancing and mask mandates

Santa Clara County will no longer mandate fully vaccinated people to socially distance or wear face coverings in most circumstances, following the new mandates set forth by the State of California as it moves toward a full reopening today. These mandates also mark the end of capacity limits for businesses and the county tier systems that ranked counties by the average daily number of new COVID-19 cases. 

Unvaccinated Californians are still required to wear face coverings, especially in indoor public settings. Regardless of vaccination status, masks are required in public transit, airplanes, hospitals, long-term care facilities, homeless shelters and indoor settings that serve children younger than 12 years of age.

The loosened restrictions don’t apply to large gatherings such as conventions, concerts, sporting events or theme parks. Along with the continued use of face coverings, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test are still required before entrance.

The County strongly recommends all individuals experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms to get tested and abide by the mask and distancing regulations set forth by private businesses, even if they are different from state or county guidelines.

The State of California no longer has any mandates in place when traveling and there is no recommendation to test and quarantine before and after travel. However, all CDC travel requirements are still in effect until stated otherwise; all passengers to the United States must show a negative COVID-19 test or document of recovery and are required to use face coverings at all times while traveling.

To book a vaccine appointment, visit this link, and to stay updated on COVID-19 information visit this link. 

Mira Sundar

Thursday, May 20 — Santa Clara County transitions to yellow tier

Santa Clara County transitioned into the yellow tier, effective yesterday, following “increasing and widespread vaccination and fewer cases of COVID-19.”

This shift allows for looser restrictions, enabling businesses to operate under more normal conditions. Businesses aren’t required to mandate remote working or follow social distancing guidelines. Instead, they must comply with state rules about their specific type of business.  

Along with the tier designation, the County also updated other mandates and guidelines, including rules regarding case reporting, face coverings and those who are unvaccinated. 

The County is now following the California Department of Public Health’s face covering policy, outlining that fully vaccinated people — those who have both shots of the vaccine and waited two weeks — aren’t required to wear face coverings outdoors, unless they’re in a crowded setting. 

Mandates remain the same for unvaccinated people, with face coverings required outdoors any time social distancing cannot be upheld. 

Regardless of vaccination status, all people are required to wear face coverings in public indoor settings. However, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear face coverings with other fully vaccinated people in all settings, nor do they need to wear face coverings while visiting unvaccinated, low-risk families. 

The County mandated that businesses encourage employees to get vaccinated and  urged all county members to get the vaccine. 

To book a vaccine appointment, visit this link, and to stay updated on COVID-19 information ,visit this link

Anika Sikka

Thursday, May 13 — Santa Clara County expands vaccine eligibility to include ages 1215

The Santa Clara County Department of Public Health authorized the distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 12 and older. This follows approval from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention yesterday and the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization on Monday. This means that anyone who works, lives or attends school in the county is eligible to receive the vaccine, making 87 percent of the total U.S. population eligible to receive the vaccine.

In an effort led by county leaders to encourage vaccinations for youth, Levi’s Stadium will be offering free tours of the San Francisco 49ers locker room and distributing free 49ers merchandise to those who get vaccinated. 

Drop-in vaccination clinics are also available. Visit this link for locations and for more information. 

Naomi Ichiriu

Sunday, March 28 — The California Department of Public Health to expand vaccination eligibility

The California Department of Public Health announced the upcoming expansion of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility on Thursday, March 25. Starting Thursday, April 1, all individuals 50 or older will be eligible for vaccination. Eligibility will expand to all Californians 16 or older on Thursday, April 15, and those younger than 16 will be eligible as soon as the vaccine is approved for their age range.

Currently, all residents who are older than 16 years and considered “at risk,” can be vaccinated; this includes those who have serious medical conditions, disabilities or are living in close contact with someone who has these conditions. Residents who are over 65 years old can get the vaccine regardless of medical conditions. All healthcare workers and teachers are also eligible to get the vaccine. 

To find out if you are eligible or to reserve an appointment, visit the California My Turn scheduling site

To stay updated on news about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the Vaccines – Coronavirus COVID-19 Response site.

Kaley Kwan, Natalie Wei and Mira Sundar

Tuesday, March 23 — Santa Clara County moves into the orange tier

County officials announced today that Santa Clara County will move into the orange tier, effective Wednesday, March 24. The move comes as the county’s test positivity rate has dropped to 1.2 percent, well below the threshold of 4.9 percent required to move into the orange tier.

Under the new guidelines, businesses in the county will be able to loosen some capacity restrictions, including but not limited to the following:

  • Indoor gyms and fitness centers can move from 10 percent to 25 percent capacity.
  • Restaurants with indoor dining can double capacity to 50 percent or 200 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Movie theaters can operate at 50 percent capacity.
  • Zoos, museums and aquariums can open indoors at 50 percent capacity.
  • Indoor retailers can fully reopen with safety modifications.

Small private gatherings will continue to be permitted indoors and outdoors, provided that people from no more than three households are present. Gatherings lasting longer than two hours are strongly discouraged by health officials, as are singing, shouting, chanting and cheering.

Currently, the Mountain View–Los Altos School District has plans to bring more students back to the classroom. The latest plan put out by the School Board, which is pending further approval, involves allowing students in Option A to go to school in person for four half-days starting on Monday, April 19. One week later, on Monday, April 26, students will have the option to attend all their classes on campus for four full days of the school week.

If this plan is approved, students will continue to stay at home on Wednesdays, which will be asynchronous. Students in Option A will have the option to remain home for distance learning, and students in Option B will participate in their current, self-paced learning model for the rest of the school year.

Mira Sundar and Nathaniel Joffe

Wednesday, March 3 — New guidelines as Santa Clara County moves into the red tier

On Tuesday, March 2, the California Department of Public Health announced that Santa Clara County will be moving into the red tier effective today, following a decline in COVID-19 cases.

Subsequent to this shift, the County relaxed several of its previous purple tier guidelines, allowing for the reopening of indoor business for restaurants, movie theatres and gyms, with limited capacities. Grocery stores are allowed to start operating at full capacity, but retail businesses must limit capacity to 50 percent. Places of worship may begin indoor activities at 25 percent capacity. The Country still advises using masks, maintaining 6 feet of social distance and limiting crowds.

School districts can now reopen five days after the county’s transition into the red tier. As of now, the Mountain View–Los Altos School District is looking to transition to a hybrid mode sometime next week.

“Stable cohorts will begin next week as a starting point and we will continue to work on different scenarios as the numbers go down and teachers are vaccinated,” Principal Wynne Satterwhite said.

However, certain aspects of the transition are still being finalized, and according to Satterwhite, “things will be evolving.”

The MVLA District will continue to follow the County’s guidelines and update its own guidelines accordingly.

Mira Sundar

Monday, January 25 — Governor Newsom lifts stay-at-home order

Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the statewide stay-at-home order this morning after four-week projections of intensive care unit capacity rose above 15 percent in all five regions of California. As of Sunday, January 24, Santa Clara County’s ICU capacity sits at 14 percent and the County has a test positivity rate of 8.8 percent.

California counties have returned to the coronavirus tier system, with Santa Clara County and neighboring San Mateo and Alameda counties currently in the purple tier. This tier is the highest risk level, but allows for outdoor dining and gatherings of up to three households.

However, indoor gatherings are still prohibited, and people who travel into the county from farther than 150 miles away must quarantine for ten days. Certain essential businesses, including personal care services, may reopen indoors, but must limit their indoor capacity to 20 percent.

The Mountain View–Los Altos District Board voted on December 14 to begin hybrid return after the county enters the orange tier.

Olivia Hewang and Rose Liu

Thursday, December 3 — California issues regional stay-at-home orders

The State of California issued regional stay-at-home orders today for areas with ICU capacity below 15 percent. No regions are currently under the order, but four of the five — Northern California, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and South California — are expected to go under the order within the next few days. The Bay Area is expected to fall under the order by mid-December. 

The three-week stay-at-home order will mandate the temporary closing of gathering places such as bars, gyms, salons and wineries. Restaurants will only be allowed to offer take-out or delivery services, and all non-essential travel will be restricted. 

However, schools will be allowed to remain open as long as they meet the requirements of the state’s health. Businesses with limited to 20 percent capacity are also allowed to remain open. 

Rose Liu

Monday, November 16 — County moves into purple tier

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that 41 counties, including Santa Clara County, will be moved back into the state’s purple tier, requiring the most restrictive coronavirus regulations in the state. State officials cited the recent surge in coronavirus cases as the reason for the new restrictions.

Under the purple tier, indoor services such as museums, places of worship and restaurants are not allowed to open, though exceptions are made for certain businesses.

Schools which have not already begun reopening are now unable to resume in person learning until the county has been in the less restrictive red tier for at least two weeks, while schools that are currently reopening may still remain open.

Garv Virginkar

Monday, November 10 — District presents possible plans for hybrid reopening

The Mountain View–Los Altos School District presented possible plans for a hybrid reopening at the Board meeting today. Although the District is not sure when the plan will be put in place, Faught said it is necessary to “be prepared.” 

She presented three hybrid models designed for high school and emphasized that these proposals are simply talking points that are open to feedback and ideas. In all of the models, Wednesday would remain asynchronous. 

The first model is the “Rotation Hybrid Model.” Students will be divided into two or more groups, and each group will attend in-person classes either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. In this model, students will eat lunch on campus, which Faught says poses risk.

The second model is the “Week-on/Week-off Hybrid Model.” In this model, groups of students will swap off receiving in-person and virtual instruction each week.

The third model is the “AM/PM Hybrid Model.” Groups of students will either be on campus in the morning or in the afternoon, ensuring all students can be on campus every day. 

While the District aims to return physically, it is taking into account the surging cases of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County.

However, David Campbell, the president of the Teacher’s Union, raised concerns about the hybrid plan. 

He argued that the plan would only work in elementary school districts where younger kids have less classes, thus they interact with less students. In addition, he stated teachers have been giving quality education to students using virtual platforms and believes they will not be able to cover the entire curriculum if they switch to the hybrid model. Instead, Campbell supports on-campus extracurriculars such as sports, physical education and ASB.

Rose Liu

Saturday, October 3 — The District will not make an in-person return this semester.

The Mountain View–Los Altos School District will not make an in-person return to campuses through the end of the first semester, as announced by Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer in an email to families last night. 

“We have made this decision with the health and safety of our staff and students at the forefront,” Meyer wrote. 

Meyer cited health and safety, instruction, constraints and monitoring as factors in the decision, but it was not immediately clear from the letter how exactly those played into the verdict.

According to the letter, “when possible,” the District will be moving forward with an in-person return of cohorts composed of disengaged students, special needs students and English learners.

Meyer will give a distance learning update at the Monday, October 5, Board meeting.

Olivia Hewang and Natalie Wei

Wednesday, September 30 — Superintendent to recommend continued distance learning through the semester.

Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer will recommend that the District continue distance learning for the rest of the semester at the upcoming October 5 board meeting, according to MVLA Board President Sanjay Dave.

Meyer previously told The Talon that the District was in the process of planning an in-person return for priority students in cohorts that would take place this semester. Cohort return would take place alongside distance learning. It is currently unclear how this will be affected by Meyer’s recommendation.

At the time of publication, The Talon was not able to reach Meyer or Distance Learning Administrator Teri Faught for comment. 

Olivia Hewang and Natalie Wei

Wednesday, September 23 — LASD releases return dates.

LASD released the official return dates for all grade levels throughout the district, reaffirming its plan to start the reopening process on Monday, September 28. 

Read the full story here.

Nathaniel Joffe and Gil Rubinstein

Thursday, September 17 — LASD delays return.

The Los Altos School District (LASD) has delayed its in-person return to campuses by one week.

Read the full story here.

Garv Virginkar

Thursday, September 10 — LASD set for in-person return within the coming weeks. 

The Los Altos School District (LASD) will begin a physical return to campuses on Monday, September 21. The District will implement an “opt-in” program, where students and parents may decide whether they want to participate in a hybrid model or continue full distance learning.

Read the full story here.

Garv Virginkar

Monday, August 10 MVLA will implement new wellness services for the 2020–2021 school year.

The district will be expanding mental health services by partnering with Uplift Family Services and CHAC, as well as bringing on two Stanford psychiatrists and a social worker, according to district representatives at the webinar today at 3:30 p.m. Student referrals will be possible through an online form, and crisis management will be handled through teacher or staff intervention. There will also be a separate referral form to community partnerships for long-term counseling.

Counselors will still be in contact with students via Zoom, and office hours during lunch will be utilized for college counseling and grade check-ins.

Read the full story here.

Cameron Cox and Mira Sundar

Friday, August 7  — School will not reopen before Friday, October 9. Additional information regarding prom, clubs, sports and performing arts has been released. 

MVLA campuses will not reopen before Friday, October 9, district representatives said in a webinar today at 4 p.m. Further information about a possible in-person return to campus will be discussed by the board next Monday, August 10. Additionally, in the same webinar, the district released information regarding activities and electives for the upcoming fall semester.

The only LAHS event currently being planned is the delayed prom for Class of ’20 graduates, set to take place on Saturday, December 19. Homecoming for the 2020–2021 school year will be pushed back to an undetermined date.

Sports do not currently count for student P.E. credits. Students enrolled in Option B for the fall semester will be able to participate in MVLA sports by contacting their coach.

Students interested in chartering a club are advised to await instructions from ASB by September. Clubs will be required to recharter with three students and a staff advisor through a Google Form. Club Day for the 2020–2021 school year is currently being planned by ASB to take place in September. Club meetings are currently not permitted on campus, but district representatives expressed that they may be allowed before an eventual campus return. 

Performing arts classes will not be offered to Option B students. Extra staff members have been hired to facilitate online arts classes for Option A students. 

Natalie Wei

Thursday, August 6 — District releases further details regarding school reopening. 

District administrators provided more details for school reopening at a meeting with students today: 

  • Teachers will release a weekly slate by 3 p.m. every Wednesday, showing assignments from Thursday to the next Wednesday.
  • Each teacher will post a 30- to 45-minute assignment on Wednesday.

Textbook pick-up will occur from Tuesday, August 11, to Friday, August 14. Starting Wednesday, students will complete student tutorials about virtual learning. More specifics will be announced soon. Here is a rough schedule for the tutorials:

  • Aug. 12: Canvas 
  • Aug. 13: social-emotional health
  • Aug. 14: gaining understanding of the upcoming school year

District administrators said further questions will be answered in an upcoming FAQ email. The district board will make a recommendation for school to be fully online for the first quarter at the next board meeting.

Olivia Hewang

Tuesday, July 28 — District board releases school reopening guidelines and additional details for fall return. 

The district board released health and safety guidelines for future school reopening, as well as clarification about the two curriculum options yesterday at 10 p.m. Any future campus reopening will be conducted in phases, following county health guidelines. However, as decided previously, the beginning of the fall semester will be completely remote for all students. 

Students will be automatically enrolled in Option A — the online learning option that allows for a hybrid return as health guidelines are eased — unless they choose to opt into the fully remote Option B through an application on the district’s website. 

The window for opting in is currently open, and closes Monday, August 17, when school starts. The board clarified that choosing Option B is entirely voluntary and is up to students and families. Contrary to what the board had stated previously, if a student in Option A contracts the coronavirus, they will not immediately be moved to Option B. 

The reopening guidelines are as follows:

  • When permitted, cohorts prioritized by student need will begin returning to campus. Special education students, English language learners and disengaged students will be prioritized.
  • Students will resume in-person learning with mitigations including mandatory face coverings and social-distancing.
  • Procedure if a student or staff member exhibits coronavirus symptoms and tests positive: they will be sent home and isolated for 10 days; the public health department will be notified; those in close contact to the individual will be sent home and quarantined for 14 days.
  • School will close if there are multiple cases in multiple cohorts on campus or if at least 5 percent of individuals are infected within 14 days.
  • After closing, schools may reopen after 14 days given cleaning, public health investigation and public health consultation.

Additional information regarding curriculum options A and B was also released: 

  • Option B will be entirely asynchronous and self-guided, with no daily attendance taken.
  • Option B will be held on either the UC Scout or Edgenuity online learning platforms. Students will follow the providers’ curriculum with guidance and support from an MVLA faculty member. It is unclear whether MVLA facilitators or UC Scout / Edgenuity staff will be helping students with individual problems with coursework. 
  • Option B students will have access to AP, honors, College Prep and elective classes through the online platforms.
  • Option B students will not be able to participate in MVLA-exclusive classes like Freestyle, AVID and band. 

Olivia Hewang and Natalie Wei

Thursday, July 16 — District board votes for complete remote return to school. 

The district board unanimously voted for Mountain View–Los Altos’ return in the fall to be completely remote today at 10 p.m. Families must choose between full virtual learning or virtual learning with on-campus opportunities as health restrictions are eased.

Because of the varied curriculums, students will not be able to switch between options with the exception of medical concerns.

However, some parents expressed concern over having to choose between the options.

Read the full story here.

Olivia Hewang and Natalie Wei

Thursday, July 16 — The board will consider a proposal for remote learning tonight. 

MVLA staff is recommending to the board that families be able to choose between full virtual learning or virtual learning with future in-person opportunities when permissible in the first semester. 

The full virtual option would be done through the MVLA adult school, and students would not be able to switch between the two programs until the semester break, with the exception of medical concerns.  

Stay tuned for the full update later tonight, at the conclusion of the board meeting. Below, a draft schedule. 

MVLA staff’s draft schedule for virtual learning in the fall semester.

Olivia Hewang and Natalie Wei

Thursday, June 18 — State releases new face covering guidelines. 

Face coverings are now mandatory in most California public spaces:

Required in:

  • indoor public spaces
  • any healthcare related environment
  • while waiting for or using public transportation
  • workspaces
  • outdoor public spaces where people cannot be six feet apart


  • outdoor spaces where six foot social distancing is possible
  • restaurants where distance is maintained
  • children under the age of two
  • people who cannot wear a face covering due to medical, mental health reasons or a disability

Olivia Hewang

Sunday, May 3 — Some teachers will likely give open-note finals. Course teams will decide grading policies to earn credit. 

This year’s finals and grading policies will remain largely up to course teams. Some teachers will likely give open-note assessments for finals, according to Assistant Principal Suzanne Woolfolk. Finals will still be summative assessments, although teachers may choose whether they are tests or projects. 

Course teams will decide their own grading policies under the credit/no-credit system (i.e., what counts as credit and what doesn’t), using guidance from the district. The district has not answered a request for said guidance. 

The finals schedule will be identical to the Phase II weekly schedule, as opposed to having special block periods as per usual.  

Superintendent Nellie Meyer said that the district is looking into many possibilities for the fall semester, including a later start date, staggered schedules and continued distance learning. 

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Monday, April 27 — Santa Clara County will extend the shelter-in-place through the end of May. 

Santa Clara County’s shelter-in-place order will be extended through the end of May, although officials will ease some restrictions. In a joint press release today, seven Bay Area counties including Santa Clara announced the extension of the original order which was set to expire on Sunday, May 3.

“This global pandemic of COVID-19 is still in its early stages,” the release read. “As effective as our efforts have been, if we move too fast to ease restrictions, the potential of exponential spread could have grave impacts to health and wellness of our residents as well as the economy.”

The official order and the new restrictions will be released later this week.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Monday, April 6 — Prom is rescheduled for August, and Graduation will likely follow suit. The school will issue refunds for canceled events. 

Prom has been rescheduled for Friday, August 7; if the shelter-in-place order continues after this date, Prom will be held on Wednesday, November 26. The Senior Picnic has been canceled, and money spent on tickets will be credited toward the purchase of a Prom ticket.

According to Assistant Principal Suzanne Woolfolk, Graduation will most likely be postponed, although that isn’t concrete. If postponed, it will be held soon after Prom. The Senior Class Council will host a Zoom meeting after Spring Break for students to give their input on Graduation and other senior events. The meeting time will be released after the break.

Additionally, the school will begin issuing refunds for purchases affected by the school closure. Refunds include spring sports transportation fees, the talent show and Senior Picnic. The administration is working on creating an online refund form and expects to have it available in late April. Money will be refunded in the form of checks. Talent show tickets will not be covered by the form because there is no record of ticket purchases and will be refunded when school reopens.

Isabella Borkovic, Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Monday, April 6 — The MVLA District will use a credit/no credit grading system for the second semester. 

During today’s special board meeting, the MVLA School Board approved a credit/no credit grading system for the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year with a 4-1 vote. A credit/no credit system has no impact on a student’s GPA, unlike a pass/fail system. The board voted after hearing comments from the community as well as recommendations from the Santa Clara County Office of Education and superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer to implement a credit/no credit system for this semester.

Vaishu Sirkay

Friday, April 3 — The College Board released new AP testing guidelines about test and security format. 

The College Board released additional information regarding AP tests today, April 3. 

Most notably, the College Board implied that as well as being open note, the internet is an allowed resource during tests by calling it a “source of misinformation” but failing to explicitly ban its use. 

However, using human resources—like collaborating with other classmates—is forbidden. 

In addition, the College Board released the following information: 

  • Tests will be administered from Monday, May 11, to Friday, May 22. There will be make-up dates from Monday, June 1, to Friday, June 5.
  • Most tests will include one or two free response questions and no multiple choice questions. 
  • Students may handwrite and upload images of responses or type them.

In order to ensure test security:

  • Each subject’s test will be administered at the same time, globally. 
  • The College Board will use a variety of plagiarism detection software. 

Student work will be provided to their respective AP teachers, which could allow teachers to check for inconsistencies with past student work. 

The main exam formats include the following:

  • AP World History, U.S. History and European History will be five-document DBQs.
  • AP English Language and Literature will be rhetorical analysis and prose.
  • World Languages won’t have reading or writing, just listening and speaking.

Website links:

The College Board will release more information and videos on the testing system by late April.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Wednesday, April 1 — The MVLA superintendent confirms that the district will remain closed through the rest of the school year. 

The MVLA school district will be closed through the end of the school year in response to the continued coronavirus outbreak, Superintendent Nellie Meyer said. In line with the state superintendent’s guidance released yesterday, Meyer also expects that the county will make the decision official for all of the districts under its jurisdiction.

Meyer said that the MVLA district is discussing switching to a credit/no credit system that wouldn’t affect GPAs like PAUSD has already done. That decision is slated for the next board meeting, currently scheduled for Monday, April 20.

Plans for Phase 2 of the district’s learning are still not finalized but are to be completed as soon as possible.

Additionally, Meyer is open to suggestions from the community for ways to replace events like prom, graduation and grad night. Currently, ideas include hosting events virtually or pushing events to a later date.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Tuesday, March 31 — Schools will remain closed through the end of the school year, according to the state superintendent. 

Schools will likely be unable to resume in-person instruction through the end of the school year, the state superintendent said in a message to California officials today. The letter does not issue a mandatory directive, but rather guidance; the decision to extend closures still remains up to local officials. However, the guidance echoes what many district superintendents had already feared and opens the door for local officials to prolong closures to such an extent. This story was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and other California news outlets.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Tuesday, March 31 — Bay Area counties extend shelter-in-place order until Sunday, May 3. 

Santa Clara County, along with six other counties and the city of Berkeley, has extended the shelter-in-place order through Sunday, May 3 and added new restrictions for exemptions to the order. These restrictions include banning the use of shared recreational facilities like dog parks, picnic areas, basketball and tennis courts and playgrounds. Essential businesses must create a social distancing protocol by Friday, April 3, and most construction is no longer permitted. Additionally, sports that require players to share a ball can now only be played with people inside one’s household. The new order will override the previous order to shelter in place through Tuesday, April 7 at 11:59 p.m. tonight.

Nina Crofts and Vaishu Sirkay

Saturday, March 28 — AP exams will be open book. 

This year’s AP exams will be open book, College Board executive Trevor Packer said via Twitter. The College Board is expected to release official details in its Friday, April 3 press release.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Wednesday, March 25 — School will remain closed through Friday, May 1. 

School will remain closed through Friday, May 1. The closure will apply to six Bay Area counties, as announced in a press release from the Santa Clara County Office of Education this morning. Academic instruction will continue to take place over online platforms and schools will still provide meals.

Isabella Borkovic, Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Friday, March 20 — AP exams will be taken at home, the College Board says. 

This year’s AP exams will be taken online, at home. The exams will be 45-minute abridged versions, focusing only on content that most classes covered by early March. The College Board says that the tests will be recognized by colleges and that students will receive due credit. Each AP exam will have two testing dates, to be released on Friday, April 3, along with other testing information.

As for test security, the College Board has not released many details, only claiming that it will use various digital security tools to protect against cheating. 

The exam may be administered on any device, and the College Board plans on working with students that don’t have access to such resources. 

The College Board is also providing the opportunity for students to cancel their exam at no additional charge. 

The College Board says that shortened AP exams have been used in the past, with full support from colleges. At-home work has also been used in various exams, such as the AP Computer Science Principles and AP Capstone courses. 

Free, live AP review courses will also be available starting Wednesday, March 25. A loose schedule has been released on the College Board website, with more lessons still being planned. AP Classroom, which was introduced at the start of the school year, has also been unlocked for teachers to access for remote learning.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Thursday, March 19 — California Governor Gavin Newsom orders shelter-in-place that could prolong Santa Clara County’s. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place, effective tonight. 

Neither Newsom nor the written order specified the length of the shelter-in-place. However, he implied that the mandate will last longer than two weeks, which would extend beyond the order already in place in Santa Clara County. 

“This is a dynamic situation,” Newsom said. “We could put a two-week deadline, but that gives people a false sense of what to expect.”

Based on his initial statement, the mandate allows for essential businesses and activities to take place. Also, as of now, law enforcement will not be implemented to carry out the mandate. 

This move comes after California health officials predicted that 56 percent of California’s population would be infected by COVID-19 within eight weeks if no action was taken.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Thursday, March 19 — The district shared workload expectations for remote learning through spring break. 

The district released guidelines to teachers for the first phase of remote learning, which will last from Monday, March 23 up until spring break. During Phase 1, teachers are not allowed to give any summative assessments and may only assign 20 minutes of work per weekday. Teachers must give students 48 hours to turn in assignments, and all weekends will be homework-free. While teachers are encouraged to use Google Classroom and other Google Suite resources, they may not use live video streaming during Phase 1. 

If school does not resume after spring break, the district will move on to Phases 2 and 3, which will focus on a more long-term solution. Details for Phases 2 and 3 have not yet been specified. Expectations will be shared with students in the near future.

Nina Crofts and Vaishu Sirkay

Tuesday, March 17 — Schools may be closed until summer break, says Governor Gavin Newsom. 

Schools may be shut down until the summer, California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press conference this afternoon. However, Newsom said that this is not a certainty, just a prediction.

“I would plan and assume that it’s unlikely that many of these schools—few, if any—will open before the summer break,” Newsom said.

The press conference came in the midst of expanding lockdown procedures, as Monterey, Sacramento and Sonoma announced a “shelter in place” today, March 17. California has also requested a federal waiver to be exempt from standardized testing this year. 

Santa Clara County currently has 155 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and five deaths.

Isabella Borkovic, Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Tuesday, March 17 — The guidelines and expectations for online learning will be available tomorrow. 

Principal Wynne Satterwhite says that guidelines and expectations for online learning should be available by tomorrow. A letter from Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer also identified Google Classroom as the main learning platform that will be used over the course of school closure. At-home learning is still scheduled to be launched Monday, March 23.

Satterwhite says that the district is still working to resolve internet access issues for students. In her most recent letter, Meyer provided a form for those who still need internet access.

“There is a plan but supply is limited from the supplier as everyone is trying to get their services,” Satterwhite wrote.

No teachers or students should be on campus while the “shelter in place” is in effect for the next three weeks. Over the next few days, a small group of custodians is cleaning all horizontal surfaces.

Additionally, as an update to the previous post, students are not expected to do any coursework this week, including assignments that were given prior to school closure.

Isabella Borkovic, Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Monday, March 16 — The district has instructed teachers not to assign additional work until Monday, March 23. 

The MVLA district has instructed teachers not to assign students with any additional classwork or homework until Monday, March 23. The break in instruction is meant to give the district time to plan how it will educate students with individualized education programs (IEPs) and students with limited or no internet access throughout the county-wide shutdown. This move further reflects the district’s lack of a comprehensive plan prior to last week’s shutdown of all county public schools.

Isabella Borkovic, Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Monday, March 16 — Santa Clara County will go under a shelter in place order starting tomorrow. 

Santa Clara County is under a shelter in place order effective at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, March 17, and will last for at least three weeks. The mandate also covers the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda and the city of Berkeley.

“We must move aggressively and immediately,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said. “The time for half measures is over. History will not forgive us for waiting an hour more.”

Click here to read the full article.

Isabella Borkovic, Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Monday, March 16 — Six Bay Area counties are expected to issue a “shelter in place” order. 

Six Bay Area counties are expected to issue an order to “shelter in place” at 1:00 pm. The order will last until Tuesday, April 7. The mandate is not expected to order a full lockdown, but rather to direct residents to stay in their homes as much as possible. These counties include San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda. Other Bay Area news outlets first broke the story after receiving a draft of the statement from a county official. Many specifics, like how the order will be enforced, are expected to be clarified in the press release.

Additionally, this morning, Santa Clara county issued a press release stating that it would close all non-essential services. Essential services include those needed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Friday, March 13 — The county has closed all of its public schools for three weeks. 

The county has closed all of its public schools for the next three weeks, extending the original two-week closure set by the district. Spring break will still take place as scheduled, with classes scheduled to resume Monday, April 13, a month from now.

They also have issued a mandatory ban on all events with more than 100 people attending and have released regulations for events with more than 35 people.

Additionally, as a result of the school closures, all athletics practices are now canceled alongside SCVAL competitions and meets. The school is still looking to resolve the issues of homeless students, free and reduced lunch students, special-ed students, and students without internet access at home. The campus itself is still going to be open to teachers, although they are not expected to come.

Click here to read the full article.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Friday, March 13 — The MVLA School Board voted to suspend all in-person classes until Friday, March 27. 

The MVLA School Board voted 5-0 to cancel all in-person classes from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27 out of concern for the recent Santa Clara outbreaks of COVID-19. During this period, the superintendent will have the authority to extend the closure as long as necessary. The board is also waiting on a decision by the county this afternoon. If the county decides to close schools for a longer period of time than two weeks, the board will follow the county’s decision.

Isabella Borkovic

Thursday, March 12 — At this time, there are no confirmed reports of students with positive virus tests. 

The rumors about a Los Altos student who tested positive for the coronavirus are not confirmed, according to Principal Wynne Satterwhite. Multiple students have been pulled out of class for precautionary measures, though none of them are known to have the virus.

“Just because you cough doesn’t mean you have coronavirus,” Satterwhite said. “But we are taking all precautions necessary.”

Satterwhite also added that parents may excuse their students from school if they are uncomfortable with the risk. However, students must stay home the whole day and can’t attend athletics.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Tuesday, March 10 — School cancels all events through spring break. 

The school is canceling all school trips and events up until spring break, including the Diversity Assembly and Clash of the Classes. This is a joint decision between the district and the county health department, who have both been in daily contact with each other. Events after spring break, like prom, are still in discussion and have not been canceled. 

Principal Wynne Satterwhite says that the district is working to publish a full calendar of canceled events and is still reconsidering some events like TEDxLAHS, which have smaller groups in attendance. 

According to Satterwhite, some events have even requested that Los Altos groups and teams not attend. 

“Santa Clara County is kind of a leper with the coronavirus now,” she said. “I know that the robotics team isn’t very happy with our decision.”

Tomoki Chien and Janie Dent

Monday, March 9 — A mandatory order to cancel mass gatherings has been issued by the county health department. 

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has announced a mandatory order to cancel all mass gatherings of 1,000 or more people. This is a mandatory order, unlike the recommendations posted previously. The order will take effect on Wednesday, March 11, and last for three weeks. 

The Palo Alto Unified High School District has taken measures that include reconsidering prom, postponing CAASPP testing, and canceling all field trips and assemblies with over 100 people in attendance. 

There is yet to be such a response from the MVLA district. 

Additionally, College Board has closed over 100 SAT test centers—including Gunn High School—for the March 14 exam due to possible coronavirus exposure. Most students have been redirected to nearby centers. College Board has contacted universities about the issue, but it is up to individual institutions to determine how to proceed with students unable to take these tests. 

College Board says that there is no information regarding how the virus will affect AP tests at this time.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Sunday, March 8 — LASD is suspending large in-person gathering and off-campus field trips. 

Due to new guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the Los Altos School District (LASD) is canceling “large, in-person activities, events, meetings, and conferences.” A specific list of events cancelled at each school will be shared by principals at a later time. Field trips have also been cancelled, including Egan’s annual Disneyland trip.

As of right now, there are no identified cases of coronavirus within LASD, but families who have been to a country with a high risk level for coronavirus have been asked to self-quarantine, and new students’ passports are being checked to see if they will be asked to self-quarantine.

Vaishu Sirkay

Friday, March 6 — Talent show is postponed. 

School administration has postponed the Eagle Talent Show which was originally set for today, March 6. The LSU Summit, scheduled for tomorrow, has also been postponed. The MVLA district issued instructions to cancel all mass gatherings, under advice from the county health department released yesterday. The rescheduled date is unconfirmed as the county cannot be certain of when the risk will clear. Additionally, according to Athletic Director Michelle Noeth, SCVAL has only released minimal guidance as to how to deal with the outbreak.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Thursday, March 5 — Santa Clara County Health Department recommends cancelling mass gatherings. 

New guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department recommends canceling “mass gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.” However, the department still does not recommend closing schools unless otherwise instructed. This comes partially because children are not at a particularly high risk of contracting serious illness from the virus. ASB has confirmed that it will still host the talent show tomorrow, Friday, March 6.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Wednesday, March 4 — Menlo School closes in light of possible coronavirus exposure. 

Menlo School has closed in response to the coronavirus for the rest of the week. This comes after the discovery that a staff member was in contact with a relative who tested positive for the virus. Additionally, Castilleja School is asking students to stay home next Monday, March 9. Faculty will use the day to plan for a hypothetical school closure, including looking into online-learning options. This is a precaution, not a response to any virus exposure.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien

Monday, March 2 — No current plans to close Los Altos in light of coronavirus 

There are currently no plans to close Los Altos in response to the coronavirus outbreak. As of today, there are eight reported active cases of the virus in Santa Clara County.

According to Assistant Principal Galen Rosenberg, any guidance to close schools would come from the Santa Clara County Office of Education, which the MVLA district office would most likely adhere to. Currently, Rosenberg is not aware of any specific guidelines or policies that the county has for school closures.

Read the full story here.

Cedric Chan and Tomoki Chien