Richmond Elementary School switches to distance learning amid COVID outbreak

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King Elementary School in Richmond.

Richmond’s King Elementary School has reverted to distance education due to an increasing number of positive COVID tests, school officials confirmed on Wednesday.

West Contra Costa Costa Unified School District Superintendent Dr Kenneth Chris Hurst has made the decision to leave remotely from January 4 and will continue until January 11.

Students returned from winter vacation this week, but school officials said by the end of one of the school days the rate of positive cases among students reached at least 10.

“While other WCCUSD schools also had a high number of cases, King was different in that cases grew rapidly throughout the day and affected multiple classrooms,” officials said in a statement.

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All students have access to their Chromebooks and will be required to maintain their regular hours on Zoom.

The superintendent later told the community in a letter that all schools in the district would close on Friday January 7 and Monday January 10, using his flexible “smoke days” which the state allows the district to use at its own discretion. discretion. Schools and offices will be closed on these days and a deep cleaning of the facilities is scheduled for Friday.

“The virus and the large number of absences are straining our system. The rapid spread of the virus requires an aggressive response to ensure security,” Hurst said in his letter.

In his letter, Hurst said the virus and a large number of absences were straining the school system and the rapid spread of COVID required an aggressive response.

“The safety of you and our students is our top priority, and closing the school to prevent further epidemics is an action we take very seriously and will only take when absolutely necessary. to quarantine as much as possible during smoke days, and to be tested at the start of the school year on Tuesday, January 11.
If you feel sick or have symptoms, stay home and get tested, ”Hurst’s letter read.

The district is monitoring the situation and said it will make adjustments if necessary.

Just a day earlier, the district announced a new requirement for all staff to start wearing K9N5 masks from January 10. Medical grade masks are a step above surgical masks or tissue in the fight to stop the spread of the new coronavirus which is currently experiencing a surge.

The district had also sent 15,000 home COVID test kits to students before the return from winter vacation on January 3. The district serves a total of 28,000 students.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has been criticized for the shortage of rapid home test kits promised to students when they return from vacation.

Zak Sos from KTVU contributed to this story.

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