School districts in San Joaquin and Sacramento counties announced on Friday that campuses will be closed until next month due to coronavirus concerns.
According to a social media statement from Lodi Unified School District, classes will resume April 6. All student activities and programs will be canceled, but the district office will remain open, the statement said.
The district said the decision was made after consultation with the San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools and San Joaquin County Public Health Services.
“Schools are an essential service and crucial to our communities,” county superintendent James Mousalimas said in a statement issued Friday evening. “The decision to recommend school closure was not taken lightly. While children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for the virus, the temporary closure of schools may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in San Joaquin County and help protect our most vulnerable population.”
All 14 school districts in the county will be closed. The decision comes as county public health announced that the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus had increased to a total of eight Friday afternoon.
The decision came just hours after the Sacramento County Office of Education announced it would be closing all school districts due to coronavirus concerns.
The Galt Joint Union elementary and high school districts will both reopen April 13.
In a statement posted on the GJUHSD website, superintendent William Spalding said the district will continue to monitor conditions during the closure and evaluate next steps.
“We know that this may present a hardship, and hope you can appreciate the difficulty of the decision and the concern for student, staff, and public safety,” he said. “With school closure, there are a number of logistical issues that must still be resolved. We will be providing further information in the coming days and throughout the closure to keep our community informed.”
Dr. Karen Schauer, superintendent of the GJUESD, said that public officials are working together to do what is in the best interests of the students, staff and community.
“I am just very grateful to work within a community and a region that are doing everything they can to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Schauer said. “This affects children and families and these are difficult decisions.”
Beginning Monday, Schauer said that all elementary and preschools in the district will be providing free lunches each day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the respective school bus zones. Free breakfast for the next morning will also be provided.