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Elementary school campuses in Los Angeles County could be eligible to reopen in two to three weeks if countywide infection rates continue to drop, county Public Health Department Director Barbara Ferrer told the L.A. City Council on Wednesday.

Ferrer’s comment, made during a council briefing, referenced the coronavirus case rates that the state recently began using as the threshold to determine if schools would be eligible to reopen for in-person instruction.

“I think if we continue to decrease, you might hit that number in like two to three weeks,” Ferrer said. “We dropped pretty significantly just in one week. I think we were at 75 cases per 100,000 like a week ago. And I think now we’re 45 — these are adjusted rates that the state uses.”

Even if case rates continue to decline, however, campuses may not all be able to immediately reopen. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, for example, the teachers union and district officials continue to negotiate over what a return to campus would look like. The improving health trends could bring new urgency to these talks.

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