Forty-seven Catholic schools in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties in California are remaining open despite a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Thirty-six of these schools are in Los Angeles County. Waiver applications from several other Los Angeles Catholic schools are pending, according to Angelus News.
Six other Catholic schools in Santa Barbara County and five more in Ventura County are remaining open. Although all three counties are in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, each county has its own COVID-19 measures in place, have to abide by those county guidelines, and apply for waivers.
According to the Department of Catholic Schools Assistant Superintendent Ryan Halverson, COVID-19 cases have been primarily transmitted off-campus.
COVID-19 has complicated the ongoing crisis of Catholic school closures and mergers. 147 Catholic schools will close and another 26 will merge in the U.S. at the end of the year, the National Catholic Education Association estimates, the largest decline since 2011-12.
Regardless, Catholics are hopeful that their schools will come out of this pandemic stronger.