Merced County Times Newspaper
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COVID-19: Merced County Schools to Close

Effective Thursday, March 19 through Friday, April 17.

As a precautionary step to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and in consultation with Merced County school district leaders and health officials, local school officials are supporting a suspension of school operations in Merced County effective Thursday, March 19 through Friday, April 17. By closing effective Thursday, school officials hope to give local families time to make arrangements for child care. Current plans to reopen schools will see students returning to the classroom on April 20, but that decision will depend on the circumstances at the time.

Officials noted that the decision to close the schools was one not to be made lightly, as noted in a statement released on Sunday evening saying that they “know that temporarily closing a school has a tremendous impact on our families. The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority, and we have confidence that this is the proper precautionary course for Merced County.”

The notice went on to say that work is being done with local education agencies to support the continuity of learning and to ensure students have access to healthy meals. Public health officials recommend that families make arrangements for child care during closure that avoids leaving children with elderly or those with compromised immune systems who are more vulnerable to the impact of the virus.

As this is a dynamic situation where information and circumstances can evolve quickly. For the latest updates, visit the California Public Health Department’s 2019 novel coronavirus website at:
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019 and for local health
updates visit the Merced County Health Department’s 2019 novel coronavirus website at:
https://countyofmerced.com/coronavirus.

Officials with local schools, listed below, went on to say in the statement that they “also understand that implementing these changes with such limited notice is challenging and disruptive, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation. We are grateful to community members throughout Merced County for their tremendous prevention efforts during these challenging times.

  • Steve Tietjen, Ed.D., Merced County Superintendent of Schools
  • Sandra Schiber, Ed.D., Atwater Elementary School District
  • Bliss Propes, Ballico-Cressey Elementary School District
  • Adolfo Melara, Delhi Unified School District
  • Justin Miller, Ed.D., Dos Palos-Oro Loma Joint Unified School District
  • Lori Gonzalez, El Nido Elementary School District
  • Bryan Ballenger, Ed.D., Gustine Unified School District
  • Isabel Cabral-Johnson, Hilmar Unified School District
  • Scott M. Borba, Le Grand Union Elementary School District
  • Donna Alley, Le Grand Union High School District
  • Andres Zamora, Livingston Union School District
  • Mark Marshall, Ed.D., Los Banos Unified School District
  • Mike Crass, McSwain Union Elementary School District
  • Al Rogers, Ed.D., Merced City School District
  • Richard Lopez, Merced River Union Elementary School District
  • Alan Peterson, Merced Union High School District
  • Kristi Kingston, Plainsburg Union Elementary School District
  • Jose Gonzalez, Planada Elementary School District
  • Alison Kahl, Snelling-Merced Falls Union Elementary School District
  • John Curry, Weaver Union School District
  • Randall Heller, Winton Elementary School District
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