Senator Umberg Urges Orange County School Districts to Be Guided by Science and Data in Reopening Schools

July 16, 2020

SACRAMENTO - Today, Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) released the following statement after the Orange County’s Board of Education voted to approve school reopening recommendations that do not require masks for students or social distancing in schools. The Orange County Board of Education issued a white paper earlier this week that detailed ideas regarding the reopening of our schools with minimal public input. The request in the letter accompanying this press release from Senator Umberg implores school districts follow guidelines set by the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Department of Education. 

“As school districts consider how we will educate our young people during this crisis, I am strongly urging  them to issue guidelines that are consistent with recommendations provided by the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Department of Education,” said Senator Tom Umberg. “As is true with all decisions made by educators, the choices they make regarding the reopening of schools will have consequences that extend beyond the classroom.”

COVID 19 related hospitalizations in Orange County continue to increase, rising faster than at any other point in the pandemic. The county’s own data showed hospitalization and death rates were worsening and outpacing neighboring counties in recent weeks. The Orange County community and public school system are facing a severe crisis; with a global health pandemic, and an economic crisis occurring simultaneously. Now more than ever, it is necessary for public officials to provide clear and consistent information and procedures to ensure the physical, emotional, and economic wellbeing of our students, families, faculty, and staff.


Senator Tom Umberg represents the 34th Senate District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Midway City, Orange, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and Westminster. Umberg is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, former federal prosecutor, and small businessman. He and his wife, Brigadier General Robin Umberg, USA (ret.), live in Orange County.