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Based on current trends, elementary schools will be eligible to reopen in Los Angeles County quicker than vaccines will be made available to teachers, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told school leaders Tuesday.

The imperfect convergence of health conditions versus vaccines could soon force officials into a difficult choice and potential conflict with teacher unions: Open campuses when the state deems it safe enough or wait for teachers and other staff to receive COVID-19 immunizations as many are demanding.

Ferrer’s message — delivered in a private briefing for school leaders — contained hopeful news on the coronavirus infection rate. It’s dropping quickly enough to meet the state standard for reopening elementary schools as soon as next week, she said in a recording obtained by The Times.

“By next week, we will probably hit that threshold,” Ferrer said. “We are getting very close. … Our case numbers are way down now, as we had hoped.”

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