Closing schools ‘irresponsible’: Fresno County superintendents announce COVID-19 policies

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – School districts in Fresno County are working together to figure out what happens next following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive to end the gatherings of 250 or more people in California.

For now, schools in the county will remain open.

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“We don’t take lightly the fact that if we close schools, it has an enormous impact in our community,” Clovis Unified Superintendent Eimear O’Farrell said.

Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, along with superintendents of six districts in the county, sent out the message Thursday that they’re working together against the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They said their decisions are guided by state policies and Fresno County Department of Public Health.

Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson said closing schools would be irresponsible.

“Quite honestly, the health department has identified one case of COVID-19 in Fresno County. One,” Nelson said. “Indiscriminately closing schools without any thought to what the health professionals are saying in the valley would be an irresponsible choice.”

COVID-19 resource links:

Schools across the county have canceled or postponed athletic events, field trips and school plays.

The superintendents said that during lunch, they’re working on alternatives to the cafeteria, such as allowing students to eat outside or in classrooms.

“Schools and our classrooms are a safe place to be for your children,” Sanger Unified Superintendent Adela Jones said.

However, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Jim Yovino acknowledged that, like the rest of the nation, anything could change at a moment’s notice.

“What we’re talking about in this moment may not be the same thing we’re talking about in a few minutes,” warned Yovino.

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