State Senator Dr. Richard Pan plans to introduce new legislation to keep schools open and safe amid the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a release sent to KFBK, the bill will "help schools stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health." The plan comes as health experts are closely watching the BA-2 variant that appears to be even more transmissible than omicron. Dr. Pan has been a major proponent of school safety measures for the state of California during the COVID-19 pandemic, recently proposing Senate Bill 871, also known as the Keep Schools Open and Safe Act, which prohibited families from being able to claim a personal belief exemption when it comes to California’s COVID-19 student vaccine requirement. He co-sponsored a similar piece of legislation in 2015 which ended the personal belief exemption as an option for all other immunization shots required of public and private school children.
Dr. Pan, a pediatrician and father of two, stresses the importance of keeping schools open in his legislation, and says parents, educators and students seek certainty that campuses are safe for in-person learning. “We have all witnessed, and perhaps personally experienced, the sheer mental health toll closing schools has had on our children. We can’t go back there,” the senator said during a news conference at a Los Angeles high school.
Dr. Pan will make his announcement later at 9:30 am today.