Should we be closing schools until the omicron surge ends?


Public school students in San Francisco should finally receive their home COVID-19 tests this week.

Those kits are arriving amid a chaotic return to classrooms.

Podcast Episode
As Prescribed
As Prescribed: Should we be closing schools until the omicron surge ends?
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

With hundreds of teachers out sick and many kids staying home in several Bay Area districts, there have been calls from some to close classrooms – at least until we get through this current omicron surge.

But San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Vincent Matthews has repeated a commitment to stay open. "In-person learning offers the best form of instruction for our students and we believe school remains a safer place for our students than the alternative," he said.

Matthews had to step in as a teacher himself when there weren't enough substitute options.

Dr. Jeanne Noble, Director of COVID-19 response for the UCSF Emergency Department, told KCBS Radio's "As Prescribed" on Thursday that shutting down schools should be the very last resort.

"If our leaders felt like lockdowns were important or we really need to take drastic measures to stop asymptomatic spread (of COVID-19), then the first step...should be doing things like closing down restaurants and closing down luxury encounters that are not foundational to our very society," she said.